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Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics : State Repression and the Domestic Democratic Peace - Christian Davenport

Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics

State Repression and the Domestic Democratic Peace


Published: 9th September 2010
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Does democracy decrease state repression in line with the expectations of governments, international organizations, NGOs, social movements, academics and ordinary citizens around the world? Most believe that a 'domestic democratic peace' exists, rivalling that found in the realm of interstate conflict. Investigating 137 countries from 1976 to 1996, this book seeks to shed light on this question. Specifically, three results emerge. First, while different aspects of democracy decrease repressive behaviour, not all do so to the same degree. Human rights violations are especially responsive to electoral participation and competition. Second, while different types of repression are reduced, not all are limited at comparable levels. Personal integrity violations are decreased more than civil liberties restrictions. Third, the domestic democratic peace is not bulletproof; the negative influence of democracy on repression can be overwhelmed by political conflict. This research alters our conception of repression, its analysis and its resolution.

Reviews of the hardback: 'There is probably no political scientist better placed than Davenport to take on this examination given his extensive contributions on the field of conflict studies.' Political Studies Review
'... this book marks a major empirical and theoretical advance in the comparative understanding of the patterns of state repression.' Social Movement Studies
"State Repression and the Domestic Democratic Peace is that rare book that compels the reader to adopt a significantly transformed way to think about democracy's warts as well as its many virtues. Christian Davenport has done a masterful job of exploring and explaining the conditions under which democratic governments resort to repressive and coercive policies. He has done so in a rigorous setting that contrasts the incentives of democratic and non-democratic leaders and that presents a wholly original and persuasive view that not only shows why democrats are less likely to repress than are other types of leaders, but also explains why, when and how democrats do repress their own citizens. Davenport's book is a tour d' force, a must read for anyone who wants to understand the underside of democracy." Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, New York University
"This is a carefully nuanced comparative examination of how democratic institutions do and don't effectively constrain state repression under conditions of domestic and international threat. It is relevant to both new and long-established democracies." Bruce Russett, Yale University
"While the interstate democratic peace finding is well known and has stood up to the most rigorous empirical scrutiny, the spread of institutional democracy and its effects on state repression have been largely ignored. Many otherwise attentive observers have assumed that democratic institutions provide a robust firebreak on government sponsored violence against dissenting citizens. State Repression and the Domestic Democratic Peace shows us the glass is but half full. Drawing on, synthesizing, and extending insights from comparative politics and international relations, political institutions, and conflict studies, Davenport provides one of the most important studies of state repression yet written. A must read for those interested in political repression, state sponsored violence, and the future of liberalism." Allan C. Stam, Dartmouth College
"Davenport's State Repression and the Domestic Democratic Peace is a masterful, systematic and sobering analysis of how contemporary states--often unsuccessfully--must tread a thin line between protecting and repressing political freedoms." Michael D. Ward, University of Washington
"Christian Davenport's book provides a valuable and nuanced understanding of how democracy affects domestic repression...His approach is much needed to unpack how, why, and to what extent, and under what conditions do democratic politics repress and if so the types and severity of the repressive acts engaged in." M. Rodwan Abouharb, Journal of Politics

Repression and the search for peace
Disaggregation and contextualization
Data and methodology
Democratic pacification: the direct effects of voice and veto
Peace under fire: the interactive effect of democracy and conflict
(Re)considering domestic peace
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521168717
ISBN-10: 0521168716
Series: Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 254
Published: 9th September 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.38