Press Freedom and Lethal International Conflicts
The analyses in Chapter 4 demonstrated that shared press freedom appears to prevent wars. This could be seen in the simple analyses of the percentage of wars and the percentage of uses of force free press and democratic states directed at different regime types. Further, press freedom is clearly associated with reduced propensities to engage in international conflicts. This is made clear in the more sophisticated analysis of regime type and involvement in militarized disputes. The latter analysis also demonstrated that the pacifying impact of press freedom is not a result of any of the other factors that have been hypothesized as contributing to the peace between liberal political regimes, including democratic institutions.
Despite the strength of the results and the value of the statistical controls on other factors generated by the more complex analysis, it may be the simpler analyses in Chapter 4 that provide the impetus for what may be a valuable refinement of theory. There are still several militarized disputes between free press countries and democracies that appear to be quite willing to use force short of war against other democracies. Senese ( 1997) found that dyads where both states are democratic escalated militarized disputes to the use of force just as often as other dyads. Though democracy appears to reduce overall participation in militarized disputes and it does seem to prevent war, its role in the process of escalation is unclear. Similarly, the degree to which free press states will escalate their