Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Murat Iyigun


This paper investigates the short and long-term effects of United States political interventions in foreign governments on the democratic and institutional strength of those countries. Following the method proposed in Berger et al’s 2010 paper, I expand intervention data from the Cold War to include the years 1990 to 2016. I use panel data as well as time and country fixed-effects to analyze this relationship through a series of OLS regressions. My findings indicate that American interventions abroad had significant and negative effects on institutional quality when measured throughout the extended period. However, measuring for lagged effects of these interventions suggests that after 30 years this trend reverses, and countries which experienced interventions seem to reclaim some of their institutional quality. 40 years following an intervention, analysis suggests institutional quality rises to a point comparatively higher in countries which experienced interventions than in those that did not.