University of Mississippi

Social Revolution, the State, and War: How Revolutions affect War-Making Capacity and Interstate War Outcomes

Carter, Jeff, Michael Bernhard, and Glenn Palmer. 2012. “Social Revolution, the State, and War: How Revolutions affect War-Making Capacity and Interstate War OutcomesThe Journal of Conflict Resolution 56(3): 432-459.

conflictresolutionABSTRACT
Democracy has been the primary focus of our efforts to understand the impact of domestic institutions on processes of international conflict. In this article, we examine how a particular nondemocratic regime type, postrevolutionary states, affects military capabilities and war outcomes. Drawing on scholarship that conceptualizes revolutions as a unique class of modernizing events that result in stronger state structures, we argue that postrevolutionary states should be better able to mobilize populations and economic resources for military purposes. Tests performed on a comprehensive sample of twentieth-century states and interstate wars confirm our predictions: postrevolutionary states have larger, better funded militaries and achieve more successful war outcomes.