Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Political Science

Committee Chair

Jamie Elizabeth Jacobs.


Democracy has been one of the fundamental achievements in the post-World War II era. Because evidence of the democratic peace exists, illiberal states are being pressured to form democracies. However, democratic consolidation, on which the democratic peace relies, remains a persistent problem of the Third World. Thus, the paradox remains that democratizing states are prone to violence which undermines peace and security. Considering that the majority of states in the international community are mixed regimes, or anocracies, this poses a problem for reducing interstate and intrastate conflict in these regimes. It is not enough to declare success with the establishment of electoral democracies; rather it is necessary to identify the political institutions that create mature democracies which validate the democratic peace.;This research seeks to explain the relationship between political institutions, the level of democratization, and conflict in anocracies. Using a top-down approach to quantitatively test the years 1974 through 2000, this research examines the role of political institutions, such as constitutional structure, press freedom, free and fair elections, military accountability, as well as the legitimacy of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. With theoretical grounding in literature on democratizing states (e.g. Snyder, Mansfield and Snyder), the waves of democracy (Diamond), political decay (Huntington), political development, and the democratic peace, this research suggests that there is a threshold effect regarding political institutions which must be established before democracy can be consolidated and the conflict levels can be reduced in democratizing states.