Edward D. Mansfield e Jack Snyder sostengono che meno uno stato è democratico, più finisce per essere coinvolto in conflitti internazionali o situazioni di tensione.

Statistical studies show that countries with weak institutions undergoing an incomplete democratic transition are more than four times as likely to become involved in international wars than other states, and that incomplete democracies are more likely to experience civil wars than either pure autocracies or fully consolidated democracies. Democratic transition is only one of many causes of war, but it can be a potent one.

National Interest