It has been widely accepted among scholars that democracies are more careful than nondemocracies in selecting targets of international conflict. That selectiveness is responsible for the fact that democracies tend to prevail in war and in crises to a greater extent than nondemocracies. This work investigates the relative selectiveness of democracies rigorously. We find that democracies appear to be more selective than nondemocracies, but that this finding is driven by the relative recklessness of military dictatorships. The recklessness of military dictatorships implies that these regimes should do poorly in achieving favorable outcomes in their international conflicts and investigating whether this implication is correct tells us much about the relationship between relative selectiveness and conflict outcome.
P.S.: The seminar will be in English.