A peace dividend? democracies' military interventions and their external political consequences

Charles W. Kegley, Margaret G. Hermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Numerous empirical investigations have found that democracies do not wage war against one another. This finding has inspired hope that the rapid worldwide dispersion of democracy since the mid-1970s will produce an era of pacific relations and has encouraged the active promotion of democratization. This paper inspects democracies' use of overt military intervention between 1974 and 1988 and shows that democratic states targeted military activity toward other free or partly free countries 141 times during this time period. Exploring the purposes for and the consequences of these interventions, the study concludes that under some conditions military interventions can affect transitions to democracy. However, it finds that more of democracies' interventionary activity is directed toward maintaining democratic identity and the liberal democratic community than toward its expansion. The inquiry ends by assessing the implications of the use of interventionism as a policy tool for democratization in the post-Cold War era.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-368
Number of pages30
JournalCooperation and Conflict
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • General Social Sciences


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