Social Purpose and Militarized Disputes

Journal article

Simon, Marc V. & Curtis Peet (2000) Social Purpose and Militarized Disputes, Journal of Peace Research 37 (6): 659–677.

This study tests whether a government's social purpose helps account for the likelihood of states to engage in militarized disputes. Ruggie has argued that states whose social purpose reflected the 'compromise of embedded liberalism' would be more cooperative in their economic relations and would promote the creation of economic regimes which reflected this social purpose. We investigate whether governments which possess this 'embedded' liberal social purpose are also more cooperative in the security arena. We introduce two measures that provide insight into the nature of state/society relations which are consistent with the government's commitment to a liberal social purpose. These measures are negatively related to several aspects of militarized disputes. This is tested using binary time-series-cross-sectional analysis at the monad level while controlling for other important variables and for contamination caused by temporal and cross-sectional disturbances. This study identifies two state-level characteristics that indicate whether liberal social purpose states are more peaceful in general, in spite of the failure of measures of democracy to do the same.

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