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I argue that democracy and peace are both symptoms—not causes—of the removal of territorial issues between neighbors, and in this sense the “empirical law” of democratic peace may in fact be spurious. As democracies tend to stabilize their border relations prior to becoming democratic, democracy as an independent variable in conflict studies captures the effects of an absence of territorial issues. States without these issues are less prone to disputes prior to regime type, and I show that, after controlling for the presence of stable borders, joint democracy exercises no pacifying effect on conflict behavior from 1946 to 1999.