Petersen, Karen K.
Karen K. Petersen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She completed her Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University.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.