Democratic peace theory posits that democratic regimes are in general about as conflict- and war-prone as non-democratic regimes; on the other hand, democratic regimes have rarely gone to war against one another (Axelrod 1984, Maoz & Abdulali 1989, Maoz & Russett 1993, Lake 1992, Merrit & Zinnes 1991, Weart, 1998). In this research paper, it is posited that another regime type, namely the federation as a regime type, may be equally robust in predicting or post-predicting for the occurrence of war. In proposing to contrast the case of democratic peace with a federal one, I plan to eventually employ statistical approaches which will show whether federalism along with other important factors--most notably (a) autocratic versus democratic regime types--, (b) affective variables (Geva & Mintz 1993), (c) perceived utility (Bueno de Mesquite & Lalmon), or (d) perceived national interests and structural factors, such as (e) level economic development (Gartzke 1998)—each also plays positive or negative roles in a state’s willingness to go to war or to avoid major international conflict.
It should be noted, however, that concerning war and democratic peace theory, research on pre-20th Century war has necessarily required a relaxation of the definition of democracy to mean (1) periodic, (2) competitive elections, or that (3) the powerful can be kicked out of power, and (4) that a body of citizens hold equal rights, regardless of their class or status. Using such definitions, Rummel (1999) notes that “Weart, (1998) and others, finds that as far back in history as classical Greece, democracies rarely, if at all made war on each other. Weart, however, concludes that using a relaxed definition of democracy, democracies fight each other ‘not at all’." The claim that democracies never fight teach other is certainly called into question by both Rummel and Lake (1992).
This federalist paper is a foray into the research for testing a new federal peace hypothesis, specifically contrasting both David Lake’s (1992), “Powerful Pacifists: Democratic State’s and War”, and Maoz and Russett’s (1993) "Normative and Structural Causes of Democratic Peace, 1946-1986" democratic peace hypotheses with a similar federal theory. Lake found that “democracies, constrained by their societies from earning rents, will devote greater absolute resources to security, enjoy greater social support for their policies, and tend to form overwhelming counter coalitions against expansionist autocracies (Lake: 24).” In addition, he indicated that all these political-economic factors place democracies in the position of likely winning the wars that they fight in. Similarly, Maoz and Russett claim that democratic peace was equally as robust when dyadic years were involved in the analysis. Dyadic year theory, and analysis of the state actors in the interstate system, claims that regardless of regime type some states over time (as measured by time series analysis, etc.) tend to have more trouble and conflict with one another than with other regime types.
Similarly, the impetus for the federalist peace theory, espoused in this paper, predicts similar propositions to the ones of democratic peace. These propositions, concerning federalism as a regime type, claim that federations avoid war with other like-regimes. These assumptions are derived from both reviews of studies of war and by the role of federalist state actors often joining coalitions in war.
A focal point of the theory is also based upon the perceived ability of federal states to handle diverse interests (or heterogenous group interests) and conflicts. For example, Elazar (1994a), in his Federalism and the Way to Peace, posits that “federalist solutions” to conflicts have until now been a rare focus of international relations. Elazar critically speaks of a missed opportunity in noting that the George H. Bush administration, in the days leading up to and through the end of the 1991 Gulf War, never seriously considered a federal solution in dealing with Iraq and Saddam Hussein . Elazar specifically claimed that 1991 Iraq--with regionally congregated groups of minorities of Shiites in the east, Kurdish peoples in the north, and its Sunnis in the west--was definitely a prime candidate for a federal peace treaty. In turn, particularly concerning Israeli and Palestinian territorial divisions of power in the near future, Elazar claimed that it is possible that similar federal or confederal solutions eventually would open the way for a more sustained peace in all of the Middle East.
Finally, Maoz and Russett (1993) have concurred that federalism likely has a strong negative effect on the propensity of such a nation to wage international war. They state: "Federalism is probably not as severe as a constraint on foreign policy as on domestic policy, but even on foreign policy it somewhat restricts the ability to mobilize economic and political resources rapidly in the event of a serious international dispute. It also provides an institutionalized base from which regional political leaders can challenge government policy (Maoz & Russett: 629)."
In contrast, Zinnes and Merrit (1991) have hypothesized that the differences in regime types might have little or nothing to do with foreign policy processes and negotiations, as foreign policy processes are usually dominated by elites who drive the process in approximately the same manner around the globe regardless of regime type. Zinnes and Merrit (1991: 230) also find that another variable, namely economic structure, of societies is likely of greater importance. This implies that regardless of regime type, "economically modernized societies have too much to lose to gamble on any serious war." Similarly, Gartzke (1998) has indicated that far too much, which has been ascribed to democratic peace, is actually the result of commonly perceived national interests. For this reason, a political-economic control variable is developed and applied in this paper to help test that dimension of federal and democratic peace theories.
One of the proposed models for the research is as follows: No War^=If [(fed)*(polity)*(demostate))] is positive versus a positive [(fed)*(polity)*(demostate)]
This means that regardless of political economic type, if the polity score is a positive score, i.e. democratic, for both sides and if both sides are federal there will be no war between them.
In line with replicating a part of Lake’s research, three hypotheses were proposed. Initially, they focus on (dyadic) year relationships of actors whereby at a minimum a pair of actors face off in conflict. The dependent dichotomous variable for war is based on having a level 6 score in the fatality category of the MID data set.
Of the hypotheses to be tested one of them is clearly normative, another one is clearly structural, while the others are mixed.
Hypothesis 1a: Federal regimes are less prone to engage in war with each other than non-federal types of regimes.
Hypothesis 1b Federal regimes are just as prone to engage in war as other types of regimes.
Hypothesis 2: Federal regimes are as prone to engage in war/military conflict with each other as democratic regimes are prone to engage in war/military conflict with democratic regimes.
Hypothesis 3: Democratic federal regimes are less prone to engage in War with each other than all other regime types are prone to engage in war with other regime types (federal-autocratic, democratic non-federal, and autocratic non-federal) regimes.
Hypotheses 1a and 1b are related or overlapping; it is hoped that such a design of clustering hypotheses was expected to provide salience for interpreting the results of the proposed regressions and surveys of data. The initial survey of the research was intended to find out whether these assumptions held at face value before running logistic regressions on the model above.
INITIAL FEDERAL PEACE PAPER
In prior research on federalism and war, “Federalist Peace Theory, 1817-1992” (2001), I hypothesized that regardless as to whether these wars are with non-federal, unitary-democracies, and/or non-democratic nations, that of those wars in which federations take on or find themselves involved in, these same federations generally are successful in "winning the war". Finally, by combining several different data sets on international conflict, regime, and polity types of indicators, I found that (1) regardless of whether it is a relatively autocratic-federal regime or a democratic-federal one, federal structure—in and of itself--has a robust and consistent negative effect on the likelihood of conflict or escalation, (2) both normative and structural models are supported by data, and (3) support for this federal normative-structural model is approximately as statistically robust as democratic peace models . This paper attempts in a more conceptual way to retest some of these hypothesis using a different data set.
As aforementioned, rationale behind this research derives from review of articles on (1) democratic peace and from (2a) studies of federal competition from the rational choice perspective and (b) from a review of analysis based on the research in the structural schools of economy and politics. Importantly, as noted above, according to "democratic peace" research and theory: Democracies, in and of themselves, are less likely to fight wars with each other--even as they are more likely to defeat an adversarial autocratic state (Lake, 1992). Democratic Peace is based on the assumption that both democratic and autocratic states are equally conflict-prone and war-oriented. (Maoz & Russett, 1993). Weart (1998), however, warns that, prior to the 20th century, other definitions of democracy dominated the landscape and “only very relaxed definitions of democracy” uphold democratic peace theory in earlier times . Just as importantly, Maoz and Russett (1993) have called into question the use of the simplified Polity I and II data sets, type espoused by Gurr (1974), Lake (1992), and others, used by many democratic peace theorists.
Some of these problems have been corrected in more recent Polity III (1993) and Polity IV (2001) updates. Nonetheless, the early inconsistencies in the Polity data sets had encouraged Maoz and Russett to develop their own 100 point scale for democracy basing it both on how democratic Side H scored on the Polity II scale plus how Side L scored. Then, in their subsequent formalization , Maoz and Russett, divided everything by how democratic Side H scored on the Polity scale while subtracting how Side L was scored. Maoz and Russett called this measure JOINREG .
However, since few have retested Maoz and Russetts dyadic data against the updated Polity IV scores, it is not clear whether the reformed versions of Polity might not be just as adequate. Therefore, in this paper I return to Polity IV for the overall Polity score. Nonetheless, in order to maintain some comparability with Maoz and Russett--as well as Lake--, this Polity score was cross checked with a dummy variable for democratic state of 1= (Polity>5) in regression analysis.
Eventually, federal peace theory intends to replicate much of Zinnes and Merrit (1993) and Lake (1992, as well as Maoz and Russett (1993), and their research on democratic peace. However, instead of focusing on the degree democracy plays in war making and foreign policy, another regime type, namely the federal regime, is being studied. As noted in aforementioned reviews, democratic-federal states are predicted to be less war-prone than non-democratic ones. This was also previously empirically tested (Stoda, 2001) so there were also a dummy variable for this dimension of variable interaction of these two variables. This was retested in this paper. The other very important test was to see if federal states as a whole really are, indeed, equally prone to war in general as other non-federal regime since this is an important assumption for comparison of regime types and has been a problematic assumption criticized by Gartzke (1998) and others.
DATA SETS AND ASSUMPTIONS BEHIND THE HYPOTHESES
The Polity IV data set includes data on regimes or states dating back to 1800. It uses a 21-point scale, which helps in coding regime type on a democratic-autocratic scale. Therefore, both federal and non-federal states can be rated according to the 21-point Polity scale, so as to classify them as non-democratic federal or as democratic-federal regimes. Frustratingly, the Polity IV data set no longer provides information on a three point scale for centralization, which had been a surrogate for federalism mentioned by Maoz and Russett. Therefore, I elected to build a new data set of federations or federal state actors from 1800 to 1994 relying primarily on Lemco (1991) and Elazar (1994b). This data set was largely based on both Jonathan Lemco’s (1991), Political Stability in Federal Governments, and Elazar’s (1994b), Federal Systems of the World: A Handbook of Federalism, Confederal and Autonomy Arrangements.
Lemco, in his research on the origin and stability of federations, found 44 historical federal regimes dating back to 1787. This is the basic list of states used in this research paper; however, several other federal regimes neglected by or unknown by Lemco, such as the United Arab Emirates and modern day Russia, were added. Finally, Elazar (1994b) provided another exceptional list of federations, which corroborated and expanded Lemco's list. Lemco's coding method required that a federal regime, at its origin and throughout his existence, include or exhibit at least one of the following: (1) a territorial divisions of power at two levels of governance, (2) a federal constitution, or (3) a mixed bicameral government. I have accordingly coded the addition of several federal states and have added them to Lemco's and Elazar’s lists, based on the existing presence of at least one of these three federal conditions of the regime. (See Appendix for complete list of federations by region.)
Regardless as to whether a federation is a democratic or non-democratic state, due to its matrix-like structure of governance, it was posited apriori to the investigation that: a federal regime is likely to avoid war with other federal states. War, in this paper, is defined as a measure of interstate dispute, using Militarized International Dispute data, that has moved to the highest level of conflict which involves 1000 or military deaths each year. Further, the wars considered relevant for study in this paper had to have occurred between 1946 and 1992 and are in the MID 2a and 2b data sets on international disputes . The MID 2a data set includes data on nearly 2100 conflict events involving actors in the international system. Meanwhile MID 2b consists of nearly 4800 observations of state actors in the international system involved in interstate conflicts on a fatality scale of 1 through 6 (with level 1 being no casualties and level 6 being a full-scale war involving 1000 casualties a year). For this paper, I also used a modified a MID year list available from R. Tucker (1997) provided for creating dyadic year data involving interstate system actors under the Correlates of War (COW) project.
A federation is defined as a nation state actor that has federal structure which is territorially defined, dual governance, and/or shared sovereignties of governments. This key independent variable is defined as a constitutionally , territorially, or institutionally recognized federal regime. Such federal governance must include divisions of autonomy between local or constituent governments, as well as being a nationally recognized arrangement. Finally, since shared sovereignties exist and since there are specifically divided areas of sovereignty between the constituent and national governments, each federal regime may be too busy to take on the most controversial of foreign actions, namely “war”.
Other assumptions concerning the federal peace theory are induced from Maoz and Russett’s (1993) list of key democratic assumptions concerning peace in democratic theory.
Assumption #1: The specific rationale for a federal peace theory is that dual governance in federal states requires a high level of cooperation among differing leadership--as well as among national, regional, and constituent state opinion at the public level. Socialization in this cooperative process leads elites to practice compromise with others—including even relations with foreign states or regimes.
Assumption #2: Federal states at the national level face at least two other sovereignties—the sovereign people who are represented directly at the national level and the constituent states, which are also represented at the national level.
Assumption #3: One condition to be considered is the size of the federation and how those constituent states which directly border other countries might be likely to put pressure on the central or national government to either participate or refrain from war. This implies that unicentric governments and constituent states that do not border other nations, as compared to federations and their border states, might certainly have varying interests and attitudes towards international confrontation with foreign states, regions, or governments .
Assumption #4: Economic autonomy means the ability to set ones own labor, construction, and trade standards, fees, price supports, etc.--separately from other constituent states. Constituent states own federal economic autonomy, which provides them with stability in competition over time, enables these federal states to be more advanced industrially as nations as compared to their non-federal neighbors. These federations, as more advanced economies, thus face to lose much more in face-to-face war with all other highly economically developed federal regimes than do less developed nations.
FINDINGS: DATA, DATA ANALYSIS, AND DESIGN RELATED PROBLEMS
Since replicating or approximating prior “democratic peace” studies through a federal research lens is the focus of this paper, it needs to be recalled that by comparing federal and non-federal actors in terms of (1) their proneness to fight wars with each other and (2) their tendency to win wars, I used separate dummy variables just as Maoz and Russett did. Finally, (3) I compared findings within these two sets of regime types to those scores on the polity scale for democracy and autocracy, a 21-point scale (after checking to see if JOINREG and my dichotomous classification using the Polity IV data set were similar on most of the federal state observations and variables).
Between 1946 and 1992, the new data set registered 10,054 state years in the international system using to the Polity IV list of regimes. Of this total number of country years, there were 892 federal state years. That is, federations make up 8.87% of all state years in the international system in this data-set period. More importantly, there were 209 regime years when these 10,054 regime-years were at war. That is, 2.08% of all state years involved states being at war with one another during the period investigated.
Of those 209 total state years of war, federal states were involved in 23.44%. However, only in 1965 when Pakistan faced off against India and again in 1971 when these same foes fought in the Bangladesh War, did federations fight each other. This means that of the total of all state war years, only four federation-years, or 1.9% of the total state-war years involved federal states. This only slightly contradict hypothesis 1a, which claimed that federal regimes are less prone to engage in war with each other than non-federal types of regimes. Meanwhile, among all federal-war years, the total of federal-on-federal war years make up only 8.16% of the total number of total number of war-years.
Interestingly, only in 1965 is a slightly democratic-federal-versus-democratic-federal war to be found. In that year, India had a +9 Polity score and Pakistan had a measly +1 Polity score. Democratic-federal country war-years made up 41 of the total 49 federal war years, yet only 2 out of 49 or only 4.08% of those years involved democratic-federal-versus-democratic-federal years. More importantly, less than 1% of all war years involved democratic-federal-versus-democratic-federal regime wars.
Hypothesis 1b also seems to be strongly supported. Federal regimes are at least as prone to engage in war as democratic regimes are prone to engage in war. Federal states make up over 23% of all-war years although they only make up 8% of the population total state years. Meanwhile, hypothesis 2 also stands. Federal regimes are certainly as prone to engage in war with each other as democratic regimes are prone to engage in war with democratic regimes. Reviewing the list democratic-versus-democratic year wars, over twice as many democratic state-war years were found as for the total number of federal war years in the 1946-1992 period under study in this paper. Finally, hypothesis 3, which says democratic-federal regimes are less prone to engage in War with each other than all other regime types are prone to engage in war with other regime types (federal-autocratic, democratic non-federal, and autocratic non-federal) types, cannot be rejected either. Although, more detailed comparison of the data, including ANOVAs are necessary to strengthen the conceptual arguments posed in this paper.
Also, due to the 1965 case of Pakistan and India, with both states having positive Polity scores and going to war, the model certainly is open to further adaptation. The current model looks as follows:
No War^=If [(fed)*(polity)*(demostate))] is positive opposes a positive [(fed)*(polity)*(demostate)]
One such adaptation likely includes the addition of a stronger set of variables for political-economy and/or alliance than used in the footnoted section of this article. Clearly, of all of the war years, in which federations were involved, more than a simple majority of those years involved federations acting in coalition with one another: For instance, the U.S. worked with other federations in the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars. In addition, if one considers that among federations only Pakistan and India have faced off in war against one another in the post-WWII period; therefore, one must consider further what role economic development plays in the creation of “ No War” conditions.
CALL FOR FURTHER STUDY
As Maoz And Russett have observed, there have been several problems with the Polity data set in the past but it currently is a shame that centralization data have been dropped entirely from Polity III and Polity IV. In contrast, further development on the former three-point “unity-federal” scale offered in earlier Polity data sets would be more helpful in developing the data sets put together for this paper than are the current data sets—which have dropped this key variable totally. In the future, evaluations of democracy, based largely on Maoz and Russett’s JOINREG scale should be undertaken, enabling the MID data to be retested more in line with Maoz and Russett’s dyadic year research on democratic states. This would certainly be a significant test for federal war and peace theory espoused in this conceptual work.
Federalist structures traditionally have been designed to calm cross-national or cross-ethnic cleavages. Further, federalism has historically encompassed both democratic and non-democratic regimes. Federations and federalist regimes, such as the European Union, NATO, the United Nations and ASEAN, are going to play an ever greater part in the international system’s future. This ability, under federalism, to include both autocratic states and more democratic ones provides ample opportunity for new and significant developments in areas of both political scientific research and in public foreign policy decision making.
Federal organization, with its matrix-like division of powers, enables political economy, international relations, and comparative politics to converge in domains of research. This is extremely important as the global system becomes ever more integrated during the 21st century. Meanwhile, further research on federations, federal regimes, and war is certainly needed, especially as concerns independent variables not fully considered in my model: Such variables continue to be the roles of economic growth and wealth, alliances, contiguity, and military capability ratios. These were indeed, however, indirectly based on the political economic scoring device developed for and revealed in this paper (and its footnotes). Such COW data, along with. Maoz and Russett’s (1993), Lakes (1992), and Gartzke (1998)’s data, provide further material for using quantitative economic measures (separated from politics) rather than the qualitative variable used in my data set.
Further, critical comparison of federal and democratic peace theory models need now turn to Ward and Gleditsch (1998) and Gartzke’s critical (1998) pieces (just as this paper looked toward David Lake’s research on democratic peace). On the other hand, such later papers should also attempt to come to grips with how decentralization of governments as posed by federal theory, specifically including the concept and structure of matrix-like divided sovereignties among federal constituent states, plays an important role in peace theory—as well as in the ongoing internationalist integration of states.
Finally, Merritt and Zinnes (1991) framework for democratic peace should be reviewed again for its apt political economic modeling and testing. Zinnes and Merritt’s proposed framework for democratic peace theory included full-interactions of society, political regime, economic regime, foreign policy process, and how all these affect foreign policy behavior. In conclusion, the traditional Hobbsian approach to states has implied that peace is destined to dominate domestic politics while war is to rage through competition and through self-maximizing efforts of states on the international level. Federal theory of shared sovereignties is, however, another option for looking at the international arena.
Whereas, some structures, such as federalism, may, in fact, (1) best promote competition and cooperation at both political and economic levels among states while (2) a federal peace may in turn enable economic development and durability of state actors over time. This durability then (3) increases room for actors to become more fully committed to the international regime while individual sovereign state actors are able to maintain peace at home and amongst one another through a federal framework. All three independent variables viewed in this federalist peace project—federations, polity type, and political economic developments in the international system—surveyed in this paper are found robust and should be integrated into one larger theory of peace, development, and foreign policy decision-making.
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