Scholars within the Democratic Peace paradigm refer to two competing theories when explaining why democracies do not participate in war against each other but are as warprone as non-democracies. The normative/cultural model proposes that these relationships are due to shared ‘democratic’ norms at the dyadic level and shared ‘non-democratic’ norms monadically. The structural/institutional model argues that executive constraints work to limit use of force as an option, but only in relations between democracies. I have argued elsewhere that institutional constraints also work at a monadic level, and in non-democratic states as well as in democracies. In this paper, I argue that a hybrid model is the best way to explain peaceful relations or the resort to force between states. My suggestion is twofold: First, monadic level research on the democratic peace needs to go beyond a dichotomous understanding of regime. Second, the institutional and normative explanations of the democratic peace need to be framed in a wider understanding of warfare decision-making, and the relationship between these explanations need to be explored. I suggest a foreign policy framework for this purpose: Governmental makeup of a country defines the limitations within which foreign policy-making takes place, and thus affects the opportunity to make decisions related to conflict. Furthermore, norms vary depending on the adversary, and signify the willingness of certain actions. More specifically, I argue that different governmental institutions and norms are parts of an environment that shapes politicians opportunities and willingness to make decisions regarding conflict involvement. In a preliminary analysis of the period 1816-1992 I explore the independent and joint effects of institutions and norms on the likelihood of dispute involvement, using a non-dichotomous understanding of regime. The findings suggest that the effect of institutional structure is contingent on norms. I conclude that further theoretical modeling and empirical research is warranted along the lines suggested here.