Authors' note: We are grateful to Scott Crichlow, Scott Payne, and Wendy Theodore for their research assistance in coding and entering data and to Jon Pevehouse and Joshua Goldstein for sharing data from their Kosovo conflict study. We thank Susan Peterson and Miriam Fendius Elman for their comments on a much earlier version.
Democratic Leaders and the Democratic Peace: The Operational Codes of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton
Version of Record online: 11 SEP 2006
International Studies Quarterly
Volume 50, Issue 3, pages 561–583, September 2006
How to Cite
SCHAFER, M. and WALKER, S. G. (2006), Democratic Leaders and the Democratic Peace: The Operational Codes of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. International Studies Quarterly, 50: 561–583. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2006.00414.x
- Issue online: 11 SEP 2006
- Version of Record online: 11 SEP 2006
Do the beliefs of leaders make a significant difference in determining if democracies are peaceful and explaining why democracies (almost) never fight one another? Our comparisons of Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bill Clinton reveal that both leaders view democracies as more friendly than nondemocracies, and they have significantly less cooperative beliefs toward the latter than toward the former, a difference that extends to the behavior of their respective governments during the Kosovo conflict. We also find that individual differences in the operational codes of the two leaders matter in the management of conflict with nondemocracies; the leaders exhibit opposite leadership styles and behavior associated with the domestic political culture of the two states. Overall, these results support the dyadic version of the democratic peace and suggest that the conflict behavior of democratic states depends upon the beliefs and calculations of their leaders in dealing with nondemocracies.