Bulletin n. 2/2016
December 2016
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • David H. Clark, Benjamin O. Fordham and Timothy Nordstrom
    Political Party and Presidential Decisions to Use Force: Explaining a Puzzling Nonfinding
    in Presidential Studies Quarterly , Volume 46, Issue 4 ,  2016 ,  791–807
    Conventional wisdom holds that Republicans have hawkish foreign policy preferences compared to Democrats but quantitative research on the use of force finds no relationship between the party of the president and his propensity to use force. This article offers two reasons for this puzzling nonfinding. First, although Republicans have favored military spending and intervention more than Democrats have since the mid-1960s, the two parties’ positions on these issues were reversed before that time. Analyses that cover the entire postwar era conflate periods when party had opposite effects. Second, previous research has generally focused on actual uses of force. Strategic conflict avoidance by potential targets is more likely to obscure a party effect when examining these relatively high-level conflict events. Examining events data, which include many lower-level conflict events, we find evidence that Democrats were more hawkish than Republicans during the 1949–65 period and that Republicans were more hawkish during the 1966–92 period.
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