Date of Award

12-19-2003

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Degree Program

Political Science

Department

Political Science

Major Professor

Prins, Brandon

Second Advisor

Rosenblum, Marc

Third Advisor

Huelshoff, Michael

Abstract

While evidence continues to mount that democracies resort to military force reluctantly, the transition to democracy may in fact be a dangerous and conflictual one. With the eyes of the world now focused squarely on democratization, a reassessment of the relationship between regime change and inter-state conflict seems fitting. To date, the evidence remains mixed. No clear consensus has emerged on whether regime transition either increases or decreases conflict propensities. The research here builds on models of democratization and conflict by including a more fully specified vector of conflict variables and by using an updated set of cases. Further, interaction effects are explored to assess whether factors such as power or contiguity differentially impact the conflict propensity of transitioning states. Employing a generalized estimating equation with logit and poisson specifications, the results show that change towards democracy decreases the probability of involvement in militarized inter-state disputes and wars. However, uneven or "rocky" transitions are found to increase conflict likelihood.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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