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The Kantian Peace: The Pacific Benefits of Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations, 1885–1992

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Just over 200 years ago Immanuel Kant suggested that “re-publican constitutions,” a “commercial spirit” of international trade, and a federation of interdependent republics would provide the basis for perpetual peace. Our analyses for the years 1885–1992 indicate that Kant was substantially correct: democracy, economic interdependence, and involvement in international organizations reduce the incidence of militarized interstate disputes. The pacific benefits of the Kantian influences, especially of democracy and trade, were not confined to the cold war era but extend both forward from that era and back many decades.


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This text was first published as: John R. Oneal and Bruce Russett., “The Kantian Peace: The Pacific Benefits of Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations, 1885–1992”, World Politics, 52:1 (October 1999), 1–37 by Cambridge University Press. Permission to republish this text was granted by Linda Nicol Permissions Manager, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK on 13 November 2014.

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Fig. 5.1


  1. 1.

    We thank the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation for financial support; Zeev Maoz for comments; and Jennifer Beam, Margit Bussmann, Soo Yeon Kim, Yury Omelchenko, Brian Radigan, and Jacob Sullivan for data collection and management.

  2. 2.

    Kant, Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch, in Kant’s Political Writings, ed. Hans Reiss (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970), 105. See also James Bohman and Matthias Lutz-Bachmann, eds., Perpetual Peace: Essays on Kant’s Cosmopolitan Ideal (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997).

  3. 3.

    By convention in the social science literature, war is defined as a conflict between two recognized sovereign members of the international system that results in at least one thousand battle deaths. The most complete data on militarized international disputes (MIDs), compiled by Stuart Bremer and his colleagues, are available at The democracy data we employ were compiled by Keith Jaggers and Ted Robert Gurr, “Tracking Democracy’s Third Wave with the Polity III Data,” Journal of Peace Research 32, no. 4 (1995), available at Both data sets are produced independently from the democratic peace research program, and the initial codings, from the 1980s, precede it. Reviews of the program include Steve Chan, “In Search of Democratic Peace: Problems and Promise,” Mershon International Studies Review 41, no. 1 (1997); James Lee Ray, “Does Democracy Cause Peace?Annual Review of Political Science 1 (1997); and Bruce Russett and Harvey Starr, “From Democratic Peace to Kantian Peace: Democracy and Conflict in the International System,” in Manus Midlarsky, ed., Handbook of War Studies, 2d ed. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000).

  4. 4.

    Henry Farber and Joanne Gowa, “Common Interests or Common Polities” Journal of Politics 57, no. 2 (1997); Gowa, Ballots and Bullets: The Elusive Democratic Peace (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999); Douglas Lemke and William Reed, “Regime Types and Status Quo Evaluations,” International Interactions 22, no. 2 (1996); Erik Gartzke, “Kant We All Just Get Along? Opportunity, Willingness and the Origins of the Democratic Peace,American Journal of Political Science 42, no. 1 (1998).

  5. 5.

    The MIDs data (fn. 2) are unavailable after 1992, and data on dyadic trade are sparse and unreliable before 1885. In any event the further back one goes into the nineteenth century, the rarer are instances of democracy, intergovernmental organizations, and high levels of economic interdependence. The MIDs data include only disputes between recognized states and not, for example, extra systemic (i.e., colonial) actions, covert operations, or domestic military interventions in support of a recognized government.

  6. 6.

    We will not here offer a new theory on why democracy produces peaceful relations. A recent statement is Bruce Bueno de Mesquita et al., “An Institutional Explanation of the Democratic Peace,” American Political Science Review 93, no. 4 (1999).

  7. 7.

    John R. Oneal and Bruce Russett, “The Classical Liberals Were Right: Democracy, Interdependence, and Conflict, 1950–1985,” International Studies Quarterly 40, no. 2 (1997); Russett, Oneal, and David R. Davis, “The Third Leg of the Kantian Tripod: International Organizations and Militarized Disputes, 1950–85,” International Organization 52, no. 3 (1998); Oneal and Russett, “Assessing the Liberal Peace with Alternative Specifications: Trade Still Reduces Conflict Journal of Peace Research 36, no. 4 (1999). Here we extend this line of research in three ways: (1) providing a conceptual synthesis of Kantian and realist theories that treats conflict as inherent but subject to important constraints; (2) extending the temporal domain for trade and IGOs into the nineteenth century; and (3) assessing realist theories regarding the role of the hegemon and Kantian theories about systemic influences in a way that addresses, among others, constructivist and evolutionary perspectives on the international system. Note that the Kantian influences may be mutually reinforcing in a dynamic system of feedback loops, as suggested by Wade Huntley, “Kant’s Third Image: Systemic Sources of the Liberal Peace,” International Studies Quarterly 40, no. 4 (1996); and Russett, “A Neo-Kantian Perspective: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations in Building Security Communities,” in Emanuel Adler and Michael Barnett, eds., Security Communities in Comparative Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

    We and others have begun to address some of these links, such as greater trade between democracies, the possibility that trade is diminished between conflicting states, the effect of democracy, trade, and peace in increasing membership in international organizations, and the effect of conflict on democracy. On the first, see Harry Bliss and Russett, “Democratic Trading Partners: The Liberal Connection,” Journal of Politics 58, no. 4 (1998), and James Morrow, Randolph Siverson, and Tessa Tabares, “The Political Determinants of International Trade: The Major Powers, 1907–90,” American Political Science Review 92, no. 3 (1998); on the second, see Soo Yeon Kim, “Ties That Bind: The Role of Trade in International Conflict Processes” (Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1998); on the third, see Russett, Oneal, and Davis (this fn.); and on the last, see Oneal and Russett, “Why An Identified Systemic Model of the Democratic Peace Nexus’ Does Not Persuade,” Defence and Peace Economics 11, no. 2 (2000).

  8. 8.

    Michael W. Doyle, Ways of War and Peace (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997), Chap. 8; David Lake, “Powerful Pacifists: Democratic States and War,” American Political Science Review 86, no. 4 (1992).

  9. 9.

    Birger Heldt, “Inherency, Contingency, and Theories of Conflict and Peace” (Manuscript, Yale University, 1998); Benjamin Most and Harvey Starr, Inquiry, Logic, and International Politics (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1989), Chap. 2.

  10. 10.

    A useful review is Susan McMillan, “Interdependence and Conflict,” Mershon International Studies Review 41, no. 1 (1997).

  11. 11.

    John Mearsheimer, “The False Promise of International Institutions,” International Security 19 (Winter 1994–95).

  12. 12.

    Emanuel Adler and Michael Barnett, “Security Communities in Theoretical Perspective,” in Adler and Barnett (fn. 6); Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999). For microlevel evidence that trading contacts expand elites’ views of their self-interest, see Daniel Lemer, “French Business Leaders Look at EDC,” Public Opinion Quarterly 24, no. 1 (1956); and Bruce Russett, Community and Contention: Britain and America in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1963), Chap. 9.

  13. 13.

    Robert O. Keohane and Lisa Martin, “The Promise of Institutionalist Theory,” International Security 20, no. 1 (1995); Lisa Martin and Beth Simmons, “Theories and Empirical Studies of International Institutions,” International Organization 52, no. 4 (1998).

  14. 14.

    For a review of some relevant hypotheses and findings, see Russett, Oneal, and Davis (fn. 6).

  15. 15.

    Jaggers and Gurr (fn. 2).

  16. 16.

    Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991).

  17. 17.

    For graphing purposes the scale for bilateral trade/GDP has been increased by two orders of magnitude and that for IGO membership has been reduced by one order of magnitude.

  18. 18.

    Wendt (fn. 11). On some systemic effects of a high proportion of democracies, see Hundey (fn. 6); Nils Petter Gleditsch and Havard Hegre, “Peace and Democracy: Three Levels of Analysis,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 41, no. 2 (1997); Sara McLaughlin Mitchell, Scott Gates, and Havard Hegre, “Evolution in Democracy-War Dynamics,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 43, no. 6 (1999); and Lars-Erik Cederman, “Back to Kant: Reinterpreting the Democratic Peace as a Collective Learning Process” (Manuscript, Political Science Department, University of California at Los Angeles, December 1998).

  19. 19.

    For dates of independence, see Bruce Russett, J. David Singer, and Melvin Small, “National Political Units in the Twentieth Century: A Standardized List,” American Political Science Review 62, no. 3 (1968). Germany and Japan temporarily lost sovereignty after World War II, but soon regained it (Germany as two states). Kuwait was briefly occupied in 1990–91; but a large, diverse coalition of states under the aegis of the United Nations forced Iraq to withdraw in order to protect the sovereignty of established states. South Vietnam is an exception to this generalization if one regards its unification with North Vietnam in 1976 as the result of external conquest rather than of an internationalized civil war. Whereas state extinction as a consequence of international war has become rare, the ideology of ethnic self-determination has led to the breakup of many states and empires.

  20. 20.

    A counter hypothesis would be that as democracies become more numerous and more confident in their individual and collective strength, they may become emboldened to pursue coercive relationships with those autocracies that remain. For evidence that democracies do win most of their wars, see Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Randolph Siverson, and Gary Woller, “War and the Fate of Regimes: A Comparative Analysis,” American Political Science Review 86, no. 3 (1992); Lake (fn. 7); and Allan C. Stam III, Win Lose or Draw (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996).

  21. 21.

    Thomas L. Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1999); and Stephen G. Brooks, “The Globalization of Production and International Security” (Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 2001).

  22. 22.

    Identified by W.S. Robinson, “Ecological Correlations and the Behavior of Individuals,” American Sociological Review 15, no. 3 (1950). On how some inferences can be made, see Gary King, A Solution to the Ecological Inference Problem (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997).

  23. 23.

    Kenneth Waltz says that it is the power of the units (states) themselves that defines polarity and not the number or power of the alliances they lead; see Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1979), 98–99. Thus the formation of two opposing alliance systems prior to World War I did not change the structure of the multipolar system. Waltz’s emphasis on the systemic effects of nuclear weapons would also imply a break between 1945 and all previous years of modern history. Dating the end of the bipolar cold war system is more problematic. Waltz’s definition would argue for a break at the end of 1991, when the Soviet Union was dissolved. But William Dixon and Stephen Gaarder show a decisive shift in the pattern of Soviet-American conflict in 1988; see Dixon and Gaarder, “Presidential Succession and the Cold War: An Analysis of Soviet-American Relations, 1948–1992? Journal of Politics 54, no. 1 (1992).

  24. 24.

    Farber and Gowa (fn. 3) express this concern.

  25. 25.

    Stuart A. Bremer, “Dangerous Dyads: Conditions Affecting the Likelihood of Interstate War,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 36, no. 1 (1993); Katherine Barbieri, “International Trade and Conflict: The Debatable Relationship” (Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Minneapolis, Minn., February 1998); Nathaniel Beck, Jonathan Katz, and Richard Tucker, “Taking Time Seriously in Binary Time-Series-Cross-Section Analysis,” American Journal of Political Science 42, no. 4 (1998). See, however, our comment in fn. 49 below.

  26. 26.

    Geoffrey Blainey, The Causes of War, 3d ed. (New York: Free Press, 1988).

  27. 27.

    Oneal and Russett (fn. 6, 1999).

  28. 28.

    Kim (fn. 6), using a simultaneous equation model, finds that the effect of trade on conflict is much stronger than the reciprocal one. Russett, Oneal, and Davis (fn. 6) construct a model for predicting IGO membership that includes, among other factors, the absence of conflict. There is an effect, but it is weaker than the influence of IGOs on conflict.

  29. 29.

    William J. Dixon, “Democracy and the Peaceful Settlement of International Conflict,” American Political Science Review 88, no. 1 (1994).

  30. 30.

    Trevor Wilson, The Myriad Faces of War: Britain and the Great War, 19141918 (Cambridge, England: Polity Press, 1986), 660–61; Kenneth MacKenzie, The English Parliament (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1950), 106.

  31. 31.

    Carole Kennedy Chaney, R. Michael Alvarez, and Jonathan Nagler, “Explaining the Gender Gap in U.S. Presidential Elections,” Political Research Quarterly 51, no. 2 (1998). To take such changes into account, Zeev Maoz uses an adjusted threshold of democracy for all countries that shifts upward in 1870 (for general male suffrage) and 1920 (female suffrage); see Maoz, Domestic Sources of Global Change (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996), 54. Our use of unadjusted democracy scores thus leans against our hypothesis of democratic peace before World War I. Kristian Gleditsch and Michael Ward note that our continuous measure, Democracy minus Autocracy score, has the virtues of being symmetric and transitive; but the relative importance of its components is unstable over time; see Gleditsch and Ward, “Double Take: A Re-examination of Democracy and Autocracy in Modern Polities? Journal of Conflict Resolution 41, no. 3 (1997). For the period 1880–1969 this aggregated measure is largely influenced by the degree of competition for executive recruitment; subsequently constraints on the executive are the main determinant. Fortunately the relatively stable earlier period covers all the pre-cold war years we add here. As no analysis of the democratic peace after World War II has yet addressed the 1969 break, we too leave that for later investigation.

  32. 32.

    International Monetary Fund, Direction of Trade (ICPSR 7623) (Washington, D.C.: IMF, 1993; distributed by Ann Arbor, Mich.: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research). Robert Summers et al., The Penn World Table (Mark 5.6a) (Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1995). Due to missing data for trade and/or GDP, the great majority of dyads involved in the Korean and Vietnam Wars are omitted, as are most Arab-Israeli dyads. Since most of those are conflicting democratic-autocratic dyads with no trade, our analysis is likely to be biased against the liberal hypotheses. Because these conflicts spanned several years, excluding these cases mitigates the problem of temporal dependence in the time series, as does omitting all but the first year of the world wars. Also omitted are roughly 2,500 communist dyad-years: non-IMF members. These states traded among themselves but did not report it to the IMF and generally had little conflict. Had we been able to include them, the post-1950 sample would have been increased by only about 2 %.

  33. 33.

    League of Nations, International Trade Statistics (Geneva: League of Nations, annual volumes).

  34. 34.

    Martin Epstein, ed., The Statesmans Yearbook, 1913 (London: Macmillan, 1913), and earlier annual editions by other editors.

  35. 35.

    We took several steps to minimize missing trade data in this period. We used information regarding one state’s exports to another to infer its partner’s imports; we interpolated between known values of trade and used the average value of a dyad’s trade to extrapolate; and we assumed, for those states for which we had data, that there was no trade between any two if neither reported any exports or imports with the other. As a result we have trade data for 61 % of the dyads 1885–1913 and 1920–38. We conducted several tests to see if these methods might have biased our results. First we dropped all zero values of trade, and then we dropped all interpolations and extrapolations. Analyses with the remaining “real” data, 1885–1940, revealed little change in the results. We also determined that the sample of dyads for which we have trade data is unlikely to be biased. To do this, we created a variable (missing) that equaled 1 if Depend L was missing and 0 otherwise and then changed all missing values of Depend L to zero. We then estimated Eq. 5.1 below with the variable missing added. It was not statistically significant, indicating that the incidence of disputes among the dyads for which trade (or GDP) data are missing does not differ from that for the dyads for which data are available.

  36. 36.

    These include volumes by Brian R. Mitchell for each region of the world and for the United Kingdom (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, various years); U.S. Department of Commerce, Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970 (New York: Basic Books, 1976); and Katherine Barbieri’s data posted at Exchange rates come from U.S. Federal Reserve Bank sources, The Statesmans Yearbook.

  37. 37.

    Angus Maddison, Monitoring the World Economy, 18201992 (Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 1995). His U.S. dollar GDP deflator is found in Maddison, “A Long Run Perspective on Saving” (Manuscript, Institute of Economic Research, University of Groningen, October 1991).

  38. 38.

    Oskar Morgenstern, Klaus Knorr, and Klaus P. Heiss, Long Term Projections of Power: Political, Economic, and Military Forecasting (Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1973); and also John R. Oneal, “Measuring the Material Base of the East-West Balance of Power, International Interactions 15, no. 2 (1989).

  39. 39.

    We extended the data from the sources in Russett, Oneal, and Davis (fn. 6).

  40. 40.

    Bremer (fn. 24); Jacek Kugler and Douglas Lemke, eds., Parity and War: Evaluations and Extensions of the War Ledger (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996). Waltz (fn. 22), 117–23, reviews the balance of power literature and states his own version.

  41. 41.

    Data are from J. David Singer and Melvin Small, National Military Capabilities Data (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Correlates of War Project, 1995); the date of final modification of the data was December 28, 1994.

  42. 42.

    We updated J. David Singer, Alliances, 18161984 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Correlates of War Project, 1995), with material from N.J. Rengger, with John Campbell, Treaties and Alliances of the World, 6th ed. (New York: Stockton, 1995).

  43. 43.

    As recommended by William Reed, “The Relevance of Politically Relevant Dyads” (Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Peace Science Society [International], New Brunswick, N.J., October 1998).

  44. 44.

    Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981).

  45. 45.

    Bruce Russett, “The Mysterious Decline of American Hegemony, or, Is Mark Twain Really Dead” International Organization 32, no. 2 (1985).

  46. 46.

    A.E.K. Organski and Jacek Kugler, The War Ledger (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980). On measurement, see David Sacko, “Measures of Hegemony” (Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Peace Science Society [International], New Brunswick, N.J., October 1998).

  47. 47.

    Lemke and Reed (fn. 3).

  48. 48.

    We added 1 to each state s tau-b score to make it positive. The tau-b index of the similarity of alliance portfolios was introduced by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, “Measuring Systemic PolarityJournal of Conflict Resolution 19, no. 2 (1975). It was adapted as a dyadic measure of satisfaction by Woosang Kim, “Alliance Transitions and Great Power War,” American Journal of Political Science 35 (1991), and subsequently used by Lemke and Reed (fn. 3).

  49. 49.

    Military expenditure is a component of the COW index of militarily relevant capabilities. On the validity of our measure, see John R. Oneal and Hugh Carter Whadey, “The Effect of Alliance Membership on National Defense Burdens, 1953–88,” International Interactions 22, no. 2 (1996). Changes in this index for the hegemons military burden correlate highly with changes in the average military burden for all the major powers.

  50. 50.

    On GEE, see Peter J. Diggle, Kung-Yee Liang, and Scott L. Zeger, Analysis of Longitudinal Data (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994). We used the computing algorithms in StataCorp, Stata Statistical Software, Release 5.0 (College Station, Tex.: Stata Corporation, 1997). For Beck, Katz, and Tucker’s methods, see fn. 24. We express our doubts that the effects of the theoretical variables and of time are separable, as Beck, Katz, and Tuckers method requires, in Oneal and Russett (fn. 6, 1999). GEE allows for temporal dependence in the time series but gives the theoretical variables primacy in accounting for interstate disputes. Beck, Katz, and Tucker introduce the PEACEYRS variables into the estimation process as coequals of the theoretical variables. See also D. Scott Bennett, “Parametric Methods, Duration Dependence, and Time-Varying Data Revisited,” American Journal of Political Science 43, no. 1 (1999).

  51. 51.

    Our recent specifications are found in Oneal and Russett (1997); and Russett, Oneal, and Davis (fn. 6). The controls, from Oneal and Russett (fn. 6, 1999), draw on Barbieri (fn. 24).

  52. 52.

    To test the robustness of these results, we estimated separate regressions for each theoretically interesting variable with just the controls for distance, contiguity, and major-power status. The signs and significance levels were consistent with those in the multivariate regressions, with one exception. Joint IGO memberships significantly (p < 0.001) reduced conflict in the restricted analysis. We also reestimated Eq. 5.1 after dropping the measure of economic interdependence because this variable has the most missing values. The pacific benefits of democracy remained strong (p < 0.001). Joint membership in IGOs, too, was significantly associated with a reduction in conflict (p < 0.02) when DEPEND L was omitted. Not surprisingly, interdependent states share memberships in international organizations.

  53. 53.

    We suppress coefficients for the four spline segments to save space. All are significant (p < 0.001). In this equation, and others presented subsequently, the coefficients for IGOs are the only ones not robust to the different methods for adjusting for temporal dependence. As our results suggest, joint membership in IGOs is most correlated of the three Kantian variables with the years of peace since a dyad’s last dispute. Our methodological preference for GEE preceded our work on IGOs. We also estimated Eq. 5.1 using conditional or fixed effects logistic regression. Greater democracy (p < 0.001) and interdependence (p < 0.05) continued to be associated with peaceful dyadic relations, as was the existence of an alliance. Joint membership in IGOs and a greater capability ratio increased the prospects of conflict. These results are based on the 20,289 observations for dyads that experienced at least one dispute; 129,092 cases were dropped because the dependent variable always equaled zero.

  54. 54.

    Gowa (fn. 3), 98–100.

  55. 55.

    Oneal, Russett, and Davis (fn. 6). Farber and Gowa (fn. 3), 409, analyze lower-level MIDs for 1816–1976 and find that democracy significantly affects the likelihood of conflict only after 1919.

  56. 56.

    However, using interactive terms for years, we find evidence of democratic peace by 1900. Earlier than that even the most democratic states were not democratic by contemporary standards. As democracy developed, the common interests of democracies and their antagonisms with authoritarian states may have become more substantial. Support for the benefits of democracy in Farber and Gowas analyses is weakened by their decision to exclude consideration of all years of the world wars. Due to possible simultaneity problems, they do not control for alliances. Since alliances show little impact in our analyses, this may not matter. For results for trade that agree with ours, see Christopher Way, “Manchester Revisited: A Theoretical and Empirical Evaluation of Commercial Liberalism” (Ph.D. diss., Stanford University, 1997). For results that differ from ours, see Barbieri (fn. 24); and idem, “Economic Interdependence: A Path to Peace or a Source of Interstate Conflict?” Journal of Peace Research 33, no. 1 (1996). Our analyses to date indicate that this is primarily due to our different measures of interdependence: Barbieri does not weight trade by its contribution to GDP. The results reported in Oneal and Russett (fn. 6, 1999) show that the pacific benefits of trade, 1950–92, are robust to several alternative specifications, samples, and estimation procedures. Oneal and Russett (fn. 6, 1999).

  57. 57.

    This baseline probability is 0.031 among all dyads and 0.055 for the politically relevant pairs.

  58. 58.

    Maoz (fn. 30); Oneal and Russett (fn. 6, 1997); Oneal and James Lee Ray, “New Tests of the Democratic Peace Controlling for Economic Interdependence, 1950–1985,” Political Research Quarterly 50, no. 4 (1997).

  59. 59.

    Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye, Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition (Boston: Little Brown, 1997); John A. Kroll, “The Complexity of Interdependence,” International Studies Quarterly 37 (September 1993); Immanuel Wallerstein, “The Rise and Future Demise of the World Capitalist System,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 16, no. 4 (1974); Barbieri (fn. 24 and 54).

  60. 60.

    If the effect of one variable (DEML, DEPENDL) is thought to depend on the value of another (DEMH, DEPENDH), the test should include their interactive terms (DEM l * DEM h and DEPENDL*DEPENDH). See Robert J. Friedrich, “In Defense of Multiplicative Terms in Multiple Regression Equations,” American Journal of Political Science 26, no. 4 (1982).

  61. 61.

    Analyses in which we modeled the effect of interdependence as a hyperbola suggest that the benefits of trade increase rapidly and then approach a limit asymptotically. See Mark Gasiorowski and Solomon Polachek, “East-West Trade Linkages in the Era of Detente,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 26, no. 4 (1982).

  62. 62.

    There is a mild downward trend in the likelihood of a dispute over the period 1885–1992. To insure that the systemic Kantian variables were not simply collinear with this secular trend toward decreasing rates of disputes, we included in each of the equations reported in Table 5.3 an indicator of time, which equals the year minus 1884. The coefficients of the Kantian variables changed very little, and the average democracy score and trade-to-GDP ratio remained significant at the 0.001 level; the measure of time was never significant at the 0.05 level in these tests. If Eq. 5.2 is estimated for just the 1885–1939 period, the coefficient of the average level of interdependence becomes statistically insignificant, primarily because the level of trade at the outset of World War I was higher than it was during the interwar years; the average level of democracy remained significant at the 0.001 level.

  63. 63.

    To insure that the effects of the annual averages of the democracy score and trade ratio were truly systemic and not confined to only those dyads that were relatively democratic or interdependent, we added three interactive terms (AVGDEM*RELDEML, AVGDEPEND*RELDEPENDL, and AVGIGO*RELIGO) to Eq. 5.2. The results indicated that the effects of the systemic Kantian variables are not confined to just those dyads that rank high relative to the annual averages.

  64. 64.

    A.F.K. Organski, World Politics (New York: Knopf, 1968); George Modelski, ed., Exploring Long Cycles (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 1987); Gilpin (fn. 43); Kugler and Lemke (fn. 39); K. Edward Spiezio, “British Hegemony and Major Power War, 1815–1939: An Empirical Test of Gilpin’s Model of Hegemonic Governance,” International Studies Quarterly 34, no. 2 (1990).

  65. 65.

    We tested alternative specifications in evaluating the role played by states’ satisfaction with the status quo. We adopted the weak-link assumption, adding the smaller of the tau-b measures of satisfaction to Eq. 5.2, and investigated whether two dissatisfied states might also be peaceful; but these terms were not statistically significant.

  66. 66.

    See the references in fn. 17 and 19 and the textual discussion accompanying them.

  67. 67.

    Monty G. Marshall, Third World War (Lanham, Md.: Rowman, Littlefield, 1999).

  68. 68.

    By controlling for states’ interests, we have tried to show that the democratic peace is not an artifact of the cold war; see Oneal and Russett, “Is the Liberal Peace Just an Artifact of Cold War Interests? Assessing Recent Critiques,” International Interactions 25, no. 3 (1999).

  69. 69.

    Gowa (fn. 3), 114.

  70. 70.

    Kant (fn. 1), 112.

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Appendix: Variables

Appendix: Variables


1 if dyad members linked by defense treaty, neutrality pact, or entente


average democracy score for all states in a year


average dyadic trade to GDP ratio for all states in a year


average number of dyadic shared IGO memberships


logarithm of ratio of higher to lower power capability in a dyad


higher democracy score in a dyad


lower democracy score in a dyad


higher dyadic trade-to-GDP ratio in a dyad


lower dyadic trade-to-GDP ratio in a dyad


involvement in dyadic dispute


logarithm of dyadic distance in miles between capitals or major ports HEGDEF: ratio of leading states military spending to its GDP HEGPOWER: leading states proportion of the capabilities of all major powers IGO: number of international organization memberships shared by a dyad MINORPWRS: 1 if dyad does not include a major power


1 if dyad is not contiguous by land border or less than 150 miles of water RELDEML: DEML – AVGDEM/standard deviation of DEM RELDEPENDL: DEPENDL – AVGDEPEND/standard deviation of DEPENDL RELIGO IGO – AVGIGO/standard deviation of IGO


tau-b measure of similarity of dyad members’ alliance portfolios to that of the leading state

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Oneal, J.R., Russett, B.M. (2015). The Kantian Peace: The Pacific Benefits of Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations, 1885–1992. In: Starr, H. (eds) Bruce M. Russett: Pioneer in the Scientific and Normative Study of War, Peace, and Policy. SpringerBriefs on Pioneers in Science and Practice, vol 34. Springer, Cham.

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