Militarized Interstate Dispute
Militarized Interstate Disputes (or MIDs) are conflicts between states that do not involve a full-scale war. A conflict is described as an MID if it causes fewer than 1000 deaths, and some military force is used. This can be nothing more than a military display of force with no deaths. Under this definition, over 2000 MIDs have been identified since 1816 in the Correlates of War project.
For example, although the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States-led coalition would be considered a 'war', the bombings and disputes related to American, British and (until 1996) French control of the Iraqi no-fly zone in the 1990s is described by Wayman (in the paper referenced below) as an 'MID'. 
Some of the findings from research on MIDs:
- Research using a continuous measure of democracy shows that the most democratic nations have few MIDs with one another. There is an ongoing debate regarding whether it is the most authoritarian or the intermediate regimes that have the most MIDs.
- When examining these MIDs in more detail, the inter-liberal disputes have on the average more hostility, but are less likely to involve third parties, hostility is less likely to be reciprocated, when reciprocated the response is usually proportional to the provocation, and the disputes are less likely to cause any loss of life.
- Enduring militarized competition between democratic states is rare. After both states have become democratic, there is a decreasing probability for MIDs within a year and this decreases almost to zero within five years.
- Democracies do sometimes attack nondemocracies. Many earlier papers found that democracies in general are as warlike as nondemocracies, but according to several recent papers democracies are overall slightly less involved in war, initiate wars and MIDs less frequently than nondemocracies, and tend more frequently to seek negotiated resolutions.
- A recent theory is that democracies can be divided into "pacifist" and "militant". While both avoid attacking other democracies, "militant" democracies have a tendency to distrust and use confrontational policies against dictatorships. Most MIDs by democracies since 1950 have involved only four nations: the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, and India.
- Sarkess, Meredith. "The COW Typology of War: Defining and Categorizing Wars (Version 4 of the Data)".
- Daniel M. Jones, Stuart A. Bremer and J. David Singer. 1996. "Militarized Interstate Disputes, 1816-1992: Rationale, Coding Rules, and Empirical Patterns." Conflict Management and Peace Science 15(2): 163-213.
- ^ Wayman, Frank (2002). Incidence of Militarized Disputes Between Liberal States, 1816-1992. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, New Orleans, La., Mar. 23-27, 2002.
- Oneal, John R., and Bruce Russet (2004). Rule of Three, Let it Be? When More Really Is Better (PDF). Revised version of paper presented at the annual meeting of the Peace Science Society. Beck, Nathaniel, Gary King, and Langche Zend (2004). "Theory and Evidence in International Conflict: A Response to de Marchi, Gelpi, and Grynaviski" (PDF). American Political Science Review 98 (2): 379–389. doi:10.1017/s0003055404001212.
- Wayman, Frank (2002). Incidence of Militarized Disputes Between Liberal States, 1816-1992. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, New Orleans, La., Mar. 23-27, 2002.
- Hensel, Paul R., Gary Goertz, and Paul F. Diehl (2000). "The Democratice Peace and Rivalries" (PDF). Journal of Politics 64: 1173–88.
- Müller, Harald, and Jonas Wolff (2004a). Dyadic Democratic Peace Strikes Back (PDF). Paper prepared for presentation at the 5th Pan-European International Relations Conference The Hague, September 9–11, 2004.
- Müller, Harald (2004b). "The Antimony of Democratic Peace". International Politics 41 (4): 494–520. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ip.8800089. Müller, Harald, and Jonas Wolff (2004a). Dyadic Democratic Peace Strikes Back (PDF). Paper prepared for presentation at the 5th Pan-European International Relations Conference The Hague, September 9–11, 2004.
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