Does accountability matter? How electoral systems affect conflict initiation

Lance Y. Hunter, Joseph W. Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Recent work on conflict suggests that electoral systems impact foreign policy-making in important ways; however, the discipline has reached different conclusions regarding how different types of electoral systems affect conflict initiation. In this study we contend that legislators are more accountable individually in candidate-centred electoral systems which impacts a state’s decision to initiate interstate conflict. We test our argument using a time-series cross-sectional analysis of 54 democracies from 1975 to 2001. The results provide strong support for the hypothesis that candidate-centred electoral systems result in less conflict initiation than party-centric systems due to higher levels of individual accountability for legislative members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-243
Number of pages25
JournalConflict, Security and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 3 2016


  • Accountability
  • candidate-centred Systems
  • conflict initiation
  • democracy
  • electoral systems
  • party-centred systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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