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Dictators at War and Peace (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs)

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Because leaders of juntas also must worry about punishment in the event of foreign policy failure, they too are relatively cautious about the use of force, though their military outlook leaves them more likely to see resort to violence as appropriate. In Dictators at War and Peace, Weeks categorizes authoritarian regimes based on whether leaders face domestic audiences that can hold them accountable for foreign policy failures—as in democracies—and whether leaders and audiences consist of civilian elites or military officers. Weeks deserves much credit for the originality of her contributions, and I hope and am confident that others will follow her lead. S. foreign policy is obvious and timely as the United States grapples with several different types of authoritarian governments in China, Russia, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and elsewhere.

On the one hand, the potential for removal at the hands of civilian elites for failed foreign adventures induces caution in the leaders of Machines. This is a different line of argument to link the Falklands War to the survival of Galtieri, in office and beyond, than the standard fear of a popular revolt. Weeks's typology and analysis have laid the foundation for understanding the diversity of authoritarian international politics, and Dictators at War and Peace will undoubtedly become the standard for such analysis.For librarians and administrators, your personal account also provides access to institutional account management. Why do regimes sometimes stay at peace, but at other times go to war or in other ways choose to use force?

For example, Weeks reports that Juntas lost three out of eight wars in which they were involved, a rate that is lower than that for personalist regimes but higher than that for democracies and Machines. Roughly 38%, however, lost office in an irregular manner [33], and 76% of those faced severe punishment in the form of exile (52%), imprisonment (15%) and/or death (2%). Since at least the Enlightenment, most observers have tackled this question by focusing on the differences between democracies and dictatorships, Immanuel Kant and others famously arguing that democracies are more peaceful.The statistical analysis builds on work by Barbara Geddes on the comparative politics of authoritarian regimes to classify countries in the period since 1945 into relevant categories.

In other words, evaluation of the explanatory power of a Boss-type regime’s decisions for the use of force must also compare the Boss’s behavior against the behavior of a democracy, a Strongman-, a Junta-, and a Machine-regime in similar circumstances.The essays also provided very useful comments on the quantitative analyses of conflict initiation and conflict outcomes. He argues that I do not engage enough with an alternative diversionary explanation for the war, namely that that General Galtieri had reason to fear severe punishment (such as death, imprisonment, or exile) if he lost office, which he expected would come at the hands of naval minister Jorge Anaya if he did not make progress on the Falklands. The narrative is not fully convincing, however, since it does not drill all the way down into the mechanisms and evidence on the central points of contention of those who have argued that this was indeed an instance of diversionary conflict. If it is not, and thus the military constitutes a second audience in Machines, then these regimes may not face the simple incentive structure that Weeks lays out.

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