The effects of power and satisfaction on violent interstate conflict: A test of power transition theory, 1816-2002
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This work looks for the condition effects of relative power distribution and satisfaction with the international status quo, both of which are necessary conditions for power transition theory. The work takes its theoretical inferences from institutional views on international conflicts and applies democratic states’ political behaviors to the power transition theory by reevaluating the concept of satisfaction with the status quo. The theoretical framework utilized is democratic institutional constraints and provision of both private and public goods. In order to answer to the research question of what conditions of relative power distribution in international system and what types of policy in domestic politics lead two states to get involved in violent interstate disputes, I incorporate power transition theory into the institutional theory of international conflict. Without full consideration of both international and domestic factors in explaining international war and peace, it is hard to answer to a crucial question. In other words, the effects of international distribution of power and domestic politics on the violent interstate disputes will be investigated. To examine the conditional effects of relative power distribution and domestic economic and political factors on the onsets of violent interstate conflict, logistic regression analysis, which is popular statistical method in social science, is used. For generating and managing the data used in this study, EUGene program developed by Bennett and Scott is utilized. Finally, the onsets of violent interstate conflicts are examined by utilizing four types of power and satisfaction conditions: power parity and dissatisfaction, power parity and satisfaction, power disparity and satisfaction, and power disparity and dissatisfaction. One of the most striking findings is that two conditional variables of power parity and dissatisfaction, and power disparity and dissatisfaction, are positively significant. These findings imply that under these two conditions two states are more likely than other pairs of states to engage in violent interstate conflicts. They also imply that among two necessary conditions of power transition theory, satisfaction factor, which is developed on the basis of the theory of democratic institution, is more influential impact on the onset of international conflicts.