Democracies are the most aggressive regime type measured in terms of war initiation. Since 1945, the United States has also been the world's most aggressive state by this measure. This finding prompts the question of whether the aggressiveness of democracies, and the United States in
particular, is due to regime type or other factors. I make the case for the latter. My argument has implications for the Democratic Peace thesis and the unfortunate tendency of some of its advocates to use its claims for policy guidance.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: February 1, 2011
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The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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