- Consulting Editors
- The Oxford Handbook of The Economics of Peace and Conflict
- Economic Perspectives on Peaceand Conflict
- Informational Aspects of Conflict
- Commitment Problems and Shifting Poweras a Cause of Conflict
- Bargaining and Conflict with Incomplete Information
- The Hobbesian Trap
- Religion, Conflict, and Cooperation
- Comparing Polarization Measures
- Inequality, Polarization, and Conflict
- On the Causes of Civil War
- Reflections on Africa’s Wars
- Methods For Measuring Aggregate Costs Of Conflict
- How Many Bucks in a Bang: On the Estimation of the Economic Costs of Conflict
- Estimating the Costs of War: Methodological Issues, with Applications to Iraq and Afghanistan
- Estimating the Human Costs of War: The Sample Survey Approach
- Mental Health In The Aftermath Of Conflict
- Measuring the Economic Costs of Terrorism
- Assessing the Effects of Military Expenditures on Growth
- The Economic Welfare Cost of Conflict: An Empirical Assessment
- Technologies of Conflict
- Endogenous Formation of Alliances in Conflicts
- Conflicts with Multiple Battlefields
- Laboratory Experiments on Conflict
- War, Trade, and Natural Resources: A Historical Perspective
- Trade in the Shadow of Power
- Conflict and Policy in General Equilibrium: Insights from a Standard Trade Model
- The Use of Coercion in Society: Insecure Property Rights, Conflict, and Economic Backwardness
- War and Poverty
- Aggressive Elites and Vulnerable Entrepreneurs: Trust and Cooperation in the Shadow of Conflict
- Globalization and International Conflict: Can Foreign Direct Investment Increase Cooperation Among Nations?
- National Borders, Conflict and Peace
- Political Institutions and War Initiation: The Democratic Peace Hypothesis Revisited
- Why Follow the Leader? Collective Action, Credible Commitment, and Conflict
- Conflict-Inhibiting Norms
Abstract and Keywords
This article considers the importance of disagreement between citizens within the nation over the provision of public goods, aside from security against external threats, focusing specifically on how democratic political institutions matter in the emergence of interstate war versus peace. The discussion highlights, where there is disagreement within a nation, the influence of electoral uncertainty to increase the extent to which the nation's leaders discount the future, including the future benefits of arming and initiating war or entering into a peaceful settlement. At the same time, it highlights the effects of checks and balances, associated with democratic institutions, to enhance the ability of leaders to mobilize resources. Although democratic peace is a possibility, it does not necessarily follow.
Michelle R. Garfinkel is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on conflict in numerous economic settings and has been published in such journals as the American Economic Review.
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