Date of Graduation
Democratic peace theory holds a homogenous view of democracy. Leadership studies and institutions literature have demonstrated that variation does exist across democracies, which suggests that democratic peace theory in underspecified. Taking a monadic approach to democratic peace, I examine the effect variations in leadership, institutional structures, and the interaction between leadership and institutions have on foreign policy outputs in democracies. The chapter on leadership reviews US administration belief sets from 1945-1992 to assess their effect on foreign policy decision-making. The findings are that belief sets do impact the conflict-proneness of administrations and that beliefs often shift over time. The institutions chapter draws on Lijphart's dichotomy of majoritarian and consensus democracies as measures of democratic institutional structures and finds that consensus democracies are less conflict-prone than majoritarian democracies. The third chapter explores the interactions between leadership and institutions through case studies of Great Britain, Italy, and Japan. Although multiple factors influence the foreign policy behaviors of the sample countries, evidence is found suggesting that institutional and procedural structures do affect leadership in the formulation of foreign policy. All of the findings indicate that democratic peace theory should incorporate a more heterogeneous view of democracy to gain insights into the conditions under which the expectations of the monadic and dyadic hypotheses will hold true. The conclusion offers a decision-making policy flowchart as a means of providing systematic direction to the comparative study of foreign policy decision-making in democracies.
Plazek, David J., "Democracies and foreign policy, conflict or cooperation? The leadership /institutions nexus." (2006). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9584.