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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall... Are the Freer Countries More Pacific?

Steve Chan
The Journal of Conflict Resolution
Vol. 28, No. 4 (Dec., 1984), pp. 617-648
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/173984
Page Count: 32
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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall... Are the Freer Countries More Pacific?
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Abstract

This analysis compares the incidence of war involvement by countries with comparatively more and less political freedom. It examines the proposition that political freedom promotes peace, as suggested by R. J. Rummel, in its monadic form. Its results indicate that this proposition tends to be contradicted or unsupported, if we focus only on monadic relationships, if we refer to wars from a more distant past, if we include wars of an extrasystemic nature (i.e., colonial and imperialist wars) or if we assess political freedom cross-sectionally (i.e., comparing a country's political conditions with those of its contemporaries). On the other hand, it is suggested that this proposition tends to be confirmed, if we focus only on dyadic relationships, if we refer to the more recent past, if we exclude extrasystemic wars, or if we assess political freedom longitudinally for each country (i.e., comparing a country's freedom status in terms of its own present or past political conditions). Thus some of the discrepant findings in the literature can be explained by these different analytic choices.

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