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War and the Reelection Motive: Examining the Effect of Term Limits

[Zeitschriftenartikel]

Zeigler, Sean; Pierskalla, Jan H.; Mazumder, Sandeep

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Abstract This article investigates the relationship between term limits and international conflict. Theories of political survival and diversionary war both imply term limits should play a role in international relations, whereas “permanent referendum theory,” largely motivated by work in American politics, suggests otherwise. Drawing on these theories, we formulate and test competing hypotheses regarding term limits and international crises. Using dyadic militarized interstate disputes data and information on forty-eight democracies with term limits, we uncover strong evidence to support the claim that leaders reaching final terms in office are more likely to initiate conflict than those still subject to reelection. Moreover, we find that the likelihood of conflict initiation is significantly higher during times of recession, but only in the absence of binding term limits. While binding electoral terms and economic downturns are both independently associated with increased levels of conflict initiation, in concert their conditional effects actually counteract each other.
Thesaurusschlagwörter international conflict; head of state; president; presidential election; domestic policy; power; political leadership; securing of power; international relations
Klassifikation politische Willensbildung, politische Soziologie, politische Kultur; Friedens- und Konfliktforschung, Sicherheitspolitik
Methode empirisch
Freie Schlagwörter term limits; diversionary war
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2013
Seitenangabe S. 1-27
Zeitschriftentitel Journal of Conflict Resolution (2013)
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022002713478561
ISSN 0022-0027
Status Postprint; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz Deposit Licence - Keine Weiterverbreitung, keine Bearbeitung
Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
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