Caroline Buts, Cind Du Bois, Steffi Raes
September 4, 2017
Article number: 20170025
The determinants of military deployment have been extensively discussed in the literature. Empirical studies indicate that, next to the international security arena, also domestic socio-economic variables play an important role. For example, wealth and size of the supplying nation tend to positively influence the number of military troops being deployed. The present study contributes to this literature by focusing on a set of political variables, i.e. the effect of upcoming elections as well as the composition of government. For a cross-sectional time-series of 34 democratic countries, covering the period from 1990 until 2014, we run a linear (fixed effects) panel regression model correcting for a first order autoregressive disturbance term as well as linear dynamic models with diverse corrections. When studying deployment at country level, we find a negative and significant impact of elections on the number of troops deployed, meaning that a country deploys fewer troops close to elections. As for government composition, we observe that rather central administrations deploy substantially fewer troops than right- or left-wing governments.