On October 15, 2015, the Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research welcomed the first guest speaker in its new Peace Talk: Young Scholar Series. Dr. Ömer Örsün, a post-doctoral Research Fellow from Koç University’s Center for Globalization, Peace, and Democratic Governance (GLODEM), made a presentation entitled “War Outcomes and the Machiavellian Moment: A Second Image Theory”.
The formal model of Dr. Örsün’s research is based on the timeless advice of Machiavelli and draws upon the selectorate theory of war. In order to explain the relationship between regime type and war capacity, war expenditure, and resorting to violence, Dr. Örsün presented a new second image formal theory, breaking down what we understand from democracy into two features: contestation and inclusiveness. He tested his predictions within this theoretical framework with a cross-dyadic time-series dataset spanning the last 200 years, covering all the war participant nations from 1815 to 2007, and relying on recent data that measures both dimensions of democracy. The findings of his research demonstrated the inadequacy of the nexus between conventional understandings of regime type and foreign policy.