Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Political Science


Political Science

Major Professor

Prins, Brandon

Second Advisor

Rosenblum, Marc

Third Advisor

Huelshoff, Michael


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.


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