This article examines the relationship between regime type and decision makers' tendency to make suboptimal choices in international crises. To test hypotheses on the optimality of democratic foreign policy, the author uses a novel statistical measure of suboptimality in foreign policy behavior. This estimator builds on Signorino's statistical strategic models to allow for actor-level variation in deviations from optimal behavior in a strategic setting. An analysis of the international disputes from 1919 to 1999 shows that democratic leaders have a greater tendency to choose policies not optimal for their citizens than do nondemocratic leaders.
- interstate conflict
- strategic models
- suboptimal choices
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations