Saunders, Stephen R.

Stephen R. Saunders is a Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University and Interim Director of the McNair Program at Middle Tennessee State University.

Prospects for Political Stability in a Democratic Iraq: A Study of the Clusters of Conflict
2009 0-7734-3870-X
Clusters composed of a democratic state surrounded by autocratic states may be particularly conflict prone. If so, were Iraq to become an established democracy in the midst of mostly nondemocratic contiguous neighbors, we may expect increased conflict within the cluster. The current study, using COW and Polity data, analyzes 142 clusters over an extended period and finds support for the proposition that heterogeneous clusters with autocracies surrounding a democracy tend to be conflictual.