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Democratic or cultural peace? Examining the joint democratic peace proposition through the lens of shared emancipative values

  • Mariya Omelicheva (a1) and Brittnee Carter (a2)
Abstract

Is it joint democracy or state similarity that has a pacifying impact on interstate relations? This study explores the complementarity of the two propositions and demonstrates the potential of a particular kind of shared emancipative culture embracing values of autonomy, equality, choice, and voice to amplify the impact of joint democracy on interstate conflict. The data on cultural values, which comes from the World Values Survey, was integrated with the data from the Correlates of War Project to test the impact of joint democracy and cultural similarity on militarised interstate disputes (1981–2010). We find that culturally similar dyads are less likely to be involved in conflict with each other than culturally dissimilar dyads. Although, cultural similarity does not wash out the pacifying effect of democracy, it offers a complementary explanation to the democratic peace. We also find that states that are democratic and share higher than average scores on the emancipative values are less likely to engage in militarised interstate disputes than democratic states, which are culturally dissimilar or score low on the emancipative dimensions. This provides support for an additional normative/cultural impact on democratic peace.

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*Corresponding author. Email: m.omelicheva.civ@msc.ndu.edu
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12 Doyle, ‘Kant, liberal legacies, and foreign affairs’.

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17 Werner, in ‘The effects of political similarity’, similarly, argues for complementarity of the similarity and shared norms propositions.

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25 In a cross-national study of cooperation, Dorrough and Glöckner (2016) found that the participants from all nations expected most cooperation from the Japanese based on a strong stereotype of a group-orientated culture (Angela Dorrough and Andreas Glöckner, ‘Multi-national investigation of cross-societal cooperation’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113:39 (2016), pp. 10836–841).

26 Lacina and Lee, ‘Cultural clash or democratic peace?’.

27 Ibid., pp. 143–70; Geva, Nehemia and Hanson, D. Christopher, ‘Cultural similarity, foreign policy actions, and regime perception: an experimental study of international cues and democratic peace’, Political Psychology, 20:4 (1999), pp. 803827 .

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42 Welzel, Freedom Rising.

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44 Welzel, Freedom Rising, p. 71. See also Inglehart, Puranen, and Welzel, ‘Declining willingness to fight for one’s country’.

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46 For the sake of parsimony, other variables known to influence outcomes of interstate conflict such as contiguity are not modelled in this causal explanation, but are included in the empirical testing of these premises. Conjunctural causation mathematically allows for the inclusion of multiple independent variables with presumed additive effects on the dependent variable and can explain these probabilities in terms of marginal impact changes (Bear F. Braumoeller, ‘Causal complexity and the study of politics’, Political Analysis, 11:3 (2003), pp. 209–33.

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58 Fewer than 50 per cent of population in these states embrace emancipative values.

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62 Welzel, Freedom Rising, pp. 83–4.

63 To ensure that the missing observations in our unbalanced panels are missed at random, we executed a Monte Carlo simulation that confirmed this assumption.

64 This technique was originally developed by Rubin (1987) and Schafer (1997). Rubin, D. B., Multiple Imputation for Nonresponse in Surveys (New York, NY: Wiley, 1987); Schafer, J. L., Analysis of Incomplete Multivariate Data (Boca Raton, FL: Chapman & Hall/CRC, 1997).

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66 For further discussion of the methodology, see Welzel, Freedom Rising, appendix.

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68 One of the possible issues with the right-hand side logs in our specified model is the presence of undefined logarithmic observations when the two states within the dyad receive the same scores on a dimension of emancipatory values, thus producing the cultural difference of ‘zero’ in the state dyad. This issue, however, is not detrimental to our analysis. The decimal numbers on the sub-indices of cultural values have several places past the decimal making the probability of similar values very unlikely. In fact, less than 0.1 per cent of the dyadic observations (200 state dyads out of more than 200,000) result in undefined logarithms in this study. These undefined cases are dropped from our analysis. To ensure that this exclusion does not affect our results we added a 0.1 constant to all of the values of cultural differences in the dyad before taking their natural logs (this resulted in retaining all of the observations) and retested all models. The results received from these tests were identical to those received from a smaller sample.

69 Hudson, ‘Cultural expectations’.

70 Welzel, Freedon Rising, p. 85.

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81 Bennett, ‘Towards a continuous specification’.

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83 In the end, however, the presence of multicollinearity does not pose a problem for the interpretation of results. It does not distort the variables’ coefficients in the interactive model. Any change that takes place in the interactive models is due to the fact that they describe ‘conditional relationships rather than general relationships’. Friedrich, R. J., ‘In defense of multiplicative terms in multiple regression equations’, American Journal of Political Science, 26:4 (1982), pp. 797833 .

84 Leeds, Brett Ashley, ‘Alliance reliability in time of war: Explaining state decisions to violate treaties’, International Organization, 57:4 (2003), pp. 801827 .

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88 Jović, Yugoslavia.

89 Omelicheva, Mariya, Democracy in Central Asia? Competing Perspectives and Alternative Strategies (Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 2014).

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