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The Capitalist Peace


  • I thank Charles Boehmer, Bear Braumoeller, Michael Doyle, Monica Duffy Toft, Peter Furia, Kristian S. Gleditsch, Arman Grigorian, J. Joseph Hewitt, Robert Jervis, Stephanie Neuman, John Oneal, Jack Snyder, David Sobek, Kenneth Waltz, Erich Weede, and seminar participants at Notre Dame University, The Ohio State University, the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, Harvard University, the Oslo Peace Research Institute, the University of Pittsburgh, Princeton University, the University of California, Berkeley, and Uppsala University for comments. Menzie D. Chinn, James Gwartney, and Dennis Quinn provided data. Richard Tucker shared BTSCS and DYADTSCS. An early draft of the study was presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference, Chicago, IL, 15–28 April, 2004. Any errors are my own.

Erik Gartzke is associate professor of political science and a member of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. Email: Web: Comments are welcome and appreciated.


It is widely accepted that democracies are less conflict prone, if only with other democracies. Debate persists, however, about the causes underlying liberal peace. This article offers a contrarian account based on liberal political economy. Economic development, free markets, and similar interstate interests all anticipate a lessening of militarized disputes or wars. This “capitalist peace” also accounts for the effect commonly attributed to regime type in standard statistical tests of the democratic peace.