The discussion focused on the mechanisms through which interstate conflict would affect domestic elections and endogeneity. Focusing on reverse causation, the discussant pointed to both greed and grievance literature linking unequal distribution of goods to conflict onset. Participants also discussed potential confounding variables, such as weak state institutions, undisciplined security apparatuses, or poor economic growth that could contribute to the occurrence of both the independent variable and outcome. Measures of conflict frequency, intensity, adjacency, and rivalry were derived from Correlates of War (COW). The group expressed interest in a dyadic data structure which would capture variation between a government that may be the aggressor of violence verse the target of an attack. Members felt the paper could also be strengthened by focusing on the Armenian case study to fully explain the mechanisms before broadening their scope to investigate the prevalence and conditions in which this behavior occurs.
This paper contributes to the study of interstate rivalries by highlighting their enduring effects on domestic distributive and electoral politics. The authors present initial data from a new micro-level dataset on Armenia, 1994-2015, which provides monthly information on the dynamics of conflict and state distribution of public goods. Despite challenges of endogeneity, this paper demonstrates potential to contribute to the growing field of research on the outcomes of violence and influence on domestic policy decisions.