Marin, Anais

Does State Violence Translate into a More Bellicose Foreign Behavior?


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With the questioning of the democratic peace axiom according to which democracies do not go to war with one another, scholars in comparative politics started investigating whether authoritarian regimes are more prone to launch or escalate an international conflict. Empirical studies have shown that state violence is often reflected in more aggressive foreign policy behavior. “Rogueness,” measured by the intensity of state violence (political repression, systematic torture), is usually correlated with a greater propensity to use force first in interstate disputes. Whereas Russia illustrates this “warmonger rogue” behavior, in other post-Soviet Eurasian countries the correlation is not fully verified, however. Building on empirical data on interstate conflict-onset, this paper demonstrates that violence-intensity at home does not necessarily translate into more bellicosity abroad. Belarus, Turkmenistan, and to some extent Kazakhstan are at the same time rogue countries—in the original sense of the term—and peaceful players (“peaceniks”) in IR. Refining existing authoritarian regime typologies, the paper singles out which regime and leadership features are conducive to international conflict-propensity, or war avoidance, in the region. Findings are not fully conclusive, but they contribute to highlighting the impact of underexplored domestic variables to explain variations in the conflict-propensity of transiting regimes.


DOI: 10.24216/97723645330050202_02
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10/2016, 50 Seiten