Unemployment and 'diversionary' foreign policy around the world

Benjamin E. Goldsmith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


This paper builds on existing studies to expand understanding of the effects of unemployment on the foreign policies of countries around the world. It has often been proposed that political leaders may attempt to distract attention from domestic problems by provoking external conflict. Empirical tests have often focused on the association of high unemployment with belligerent, militarised foreign policy. The extant literature appears to share a common assumption that such diversionary foreign policy occurs only in large, powerful democracies. The purpose of this paper is to test these assumptions using the latest available data and appropriate statistical techniques. In particular, I test the effect of unemployment on interstate conflict and on levels of defence expenditure. I find that diversionary conflict is common to all states, and that democracies are actually less prone to such behaviour than non-democracies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Constraints to full employment
Subtitle of host publicationfiscal and monetary policy, WorkChoices and job insecurity
EditorsGraham Wrightson
Place of PublicationCallaghan, N.S.W.
PublisherUniversity of Newcastle
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)192070177X
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventNational Conference on Unemployment (13th : 2006) - Newcastle, Australia
Duration: 7 Dec 20068 Dec 2006


ConferenceNational Conference on Unemployment (13th : 2006)
CityNewcastle, Australia


Dive into the research topics of 'Unemployment and 'diversionary' foreign policy around the world'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this