Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Tables and Figures

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

My thanks go to friends and colleagues who have aided me throughout this project. Some commented on portions of the manuscript, others answered specific questions, and still others debated their views with me. My largest debt is to scholars at the University of Chicago, past and present. ...

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1. The Argument in a Nutshell

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pp. 1-16

Democracies almost never fight wars against each other. This simple observation is one of the most powerful findings in international politics and one of the most throughly tested. But what explains it? The answer, I think, is that democracies have unique “contracting advantages,” which allow them to build stable, peaceful relations, based on multiple self-enforcing bargains. ...

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2. Is There Really Peace among Democracies?

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pp. 17-46

Before trying to explain what causes the democratic peace, we need to be confident it is real. Democracies do seem to fight less frequently, but we need to know if the difference is statistically meaningful and can withstand the scrutiny of detailed case studies. That is no simple matter. ...

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3. A Contracting Theory of the Democratic Peace and Its Alternatives

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pp. 47-76

The last chapter showed that the democratic peace is real. This chapter sets out a simple theory to explain it, based on constitutional democracies’ superior ability to forge reliable bargains with each other. We will then compare the contracting theory to other major approaches. ...

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4. Why Democratic Bargains Are Reliable: Constitutions, Open Politics, and the Electorate

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pp. 77-111

These procedures make democracies more trustworthy and allow partners to gauge the depth of support for policies and promises on a continuous basis. They can see the strength and character of opposition and can reasonably judge the chances that opponents will come to power. ...

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5. Leadership Succession as a Cause of War: The Structural Advantage of Democracies

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pp. 112-138

The last chapter dealt with all four sources of the democratic contracting advantage: transparency, audience costs, constitutionalism, and continuity of regimes. This chapter continues the examination of regime continuity, focusing on leadership succession. Succession crises are a frequent source of wars. ...

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6. Extending the Argument: Implications of Secure Contracting among Constitutional Democracies

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pp. 139-168

Now that we have examined the contracting advantages of democracies, we want to see if the theory does more than explain the democratic peace. A robust theory should offer insights into a range of related phenomena. Looking beyond the questions of war and militarized conflict, we want to see what else our contracting theory predicts and then check these predictions against established research findings. ...

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7. Conclusion: Reliable Partners and Reliable Peace

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pp. 169-190

Let’s quickly review where we stand and then consider larger issues. The starting point for this study, and for so many others, is a striking correlation: when two countries are democracies, they very seldom fight wars against each other. The first task is to see whether this relationship might be mere coincidence or the product of unrelated factors. ...

Notes

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pp. 191-248

Index

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pp. 249-260