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Peace through Insecurity: Tenure and International Conflict

Giacomo Chiozza and H. E. Goemans
The Journal of Conflict Resolution
Vol. 47, No. 4 (Aug., 2003), pp. 443-467
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3176204
Page Count: 25
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Peace through Insecurity: Tenure and International Conflict
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Abstract

The literature on diversionary war has long argued that a leader's tenure considerations play an important role in international conflict behavior. However, for the diversionary use of force to be rational, international conflict must in turn affect the leader's tenure. A two-stage probit model on a new data set of all leaders between 1919 and 1992 is used to examine this reciprocal relationship between the probability of losing office and the probability of crisis initiation. Contrary to theories of the diversionary use of force, results show that an increase in the risk of losing office makes leaders less likely to initiate a crisis, and an increase in the risk of an international crisis makes leaders more likely to lose office. Results also suggest that democracies are overall less likely to initiate a crisis because of the domestic political insecurity of democratic leaders.

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