Putting military intervention into the democratic peace

Charles W. Kegley, Margaret G. Hermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Although many empirical investigations have demonstrated that democracies almost never wage war against one another, there remains some doubt whether this empirical law applies to other kinds of armed conflict. The present research note combines two streams of evidence that speak to this question. Looking cross-nationally at the incidence of overt military intervention between 1974 and 1991, an inventory of 225 discrete cases is produced with the distributions disaggregated by regime type. Comparing initiators and targets dyadically, the study uncovers 51 instances in which democracies have used this form of coercive diplomacy to influence the policies and practices within other democratic states. Presenting the trends exhibited in these indicators and juxtaposing them with an alternative measure of intervention, this research communication advances some observations about the obstacles to convergence among research findings in the study of the democratic peace, and some hypotheses about the kinds of research questions that warrant investigation with the inventory of cases generated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-107
Number of pages30
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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