Blanca Mimbacas Foundations & Challenges to Politics and International RelationsN0813067Democracies do not fight each other. Discuss.Democracy: Defined by Small and Singer (1976), a democratic state is one that has periodical elections, where all the parties have the ability to run for government . However, Doyle (1983) adds to this definition that a state that claims to be democratic needs to have a free or private property market, internal sovereignty and equal juridical rights.War: In the Correlates of War Project, it is defined as a military conflict with over 1000 dead killed in battle in one year.
Some researchers have developed other definitions, due to the fact that the majority of conflicts fall above or below this threshold (Ray, 1995, p.103). Weart (1998) defines as a war a conflict with more than 200 battle deaths.The affirmation democracies do not fight each other finds his base on the Democratic Peace Theory, which explains that democracies are more peaceful in their foreign relations. This theory is, according to John M.
Owen (1994) the closest thing we have to an empirical law in the study of international relationsThis proposition has itґs origins in the Enlightenment thinkers, highlighting Immanuel Kant with his work Perpetual Peace: A philosophical sketch (1795) -Even though Kant does not talk about democracies but republics, the principle is still applicable- and defended by contemporary authors like James Lee Ray (1998), Jack S. Levy (1989) or Bueno de Mesquita (1992) among others. It is Dean Babst who wrote the first paper arguing that democracies do not fight each other in Wisconsin Sociologist (1964) and the first to add analytical data and research to the theoryThe theory can be divided in three different branches: Monadic democratic peace, which explains that democracies are less warlike than other regimes and not only wonґt fight another democracy but any other system; Systemic democratic peace -the more democracies are in a region, the more peaceful that region will be-, and Dyadic democratic peace, where democracies are more peaceful only in their relation with other democracies. So why donґt democracies fight each other?Thomas Risse-Kappen (1994-1995) believed that this was because the internal systems in democratic states. Conflicts in a democracy are not solved by force but peaceful negotiations and compromises, and this is transferred to international politics. (The validity claims of peacefulness are sustained by oneґs own domestic structure T. Risse-Kappen, 1995).If two countries percept each other as liberal democracies, they are more likely not to get involved in a war. This is because they have no fear of aggression from each other, due to the precaution system that the international anarchy has provided. This scenario is not likely when the second item of the dyad is a non-democratic state. Autocracies do not respect their peopleґs natural rights or freedom, which makes them unreasonable, unpredictable and potentially dangerous (Owen, 1997. 124 : cf Kahl 1999, 109-113). This is called the Security Dilemma, term created by John H. Herz in his 1951 book Political Realism and Political Idealism. But the Security Dilemma is theoretically insufficient for some scholars. In fact, military interventions and wars fought by democracies in the last two decades have hardly been caused by this dilemma. Some counter-arguments and exceptions to this are the Gulf War in 1999 -In which case an occupied country was freed-; Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovoґs interventions, which were initiated for humanitarian reasons, or Afghanistan, that was a case of self-defence (after the terrorist attack perpetrated on the 11th of September 2001). Michael W. Doyle, in search of support for this theory, followed Rudolph J. Rummelґs – example, analysing authoritative data about interstate wars and classified the regimes of the states involved in those conflicts. This led them to reach the conclusion once achieved by Babst (1972) -who used data from Wright (1942)-: No wars have been fought between independent nations with elective governments between 1798 and 1941, but taking their deduction a step further and claiming that two democratic states have never been involved in an interstate war. The deficiency of armed conflicts between two democratic states in history might be one of the most persuasive evidences supporting the Democratic Peace Theory. Still, there are some exceptions through history, which would consolidate Babst conclusion over Doyleґs. The Kargil War in 1999, being a conflict between India and Pakistan, in the Kargil district of Kashmir (exception argued by Matthew White, 2005); the Paquisha War, a brief armed conflict between Peru and Ecuador between January and February of 1983 over the control of three watch posts, or the Lebanese air Forceґs intervention in the Six-Days War -also known as the Third Arab-Israeli War- (Doyle, 1983). Another approach of the dyadic democratic peace is the dyadic/institutionalist explanation. This maintains that the reason democracies are less warlike than other regimes is the institutional setting. This would be only applicable when the other part is a democracy as well. This method focuses on the existence of more transparency in a democracy than in an autocratic regime. Therefore, a democracy is more reliable when getting involved in binding contracts. The second form this theory has starts from the assumption that democratic leaders might be ceased from office if they loose a conflict, a risk an autocratic leader wonґt face.However, not only the dyadic theory is accurate. From an utilitarian point of view, based on one of Kantґs arguments from Perpetual Peace (1795) “The rational citizen in liberal capitalist societies is generally peace prone, because a war endangers not only his life, but is economically expensive- a country is only going to get involved in wars that are worthwhile. While an autocrat regime relies on a smaller group (Bueno de Mesquita, 1999), democracies have to conduct general cost-benefit calculations, in order to convince the majority of the population that the result of being involved in the conflict will bring positive income. Meanwhile, a non-democratic government will lead a war as long as the small group it relies on, gets profit from it. Therefore, a democratic state is less war prone than an autocratic one.Nevertheless, we can not only say that is democracy itself what makes two democratic states not fight each other, being trade and commercial relations an important part in this. Erik Gartze – political scientist from Columbia University- in his article The Capitalist Peace (2007), defends the so called capitalist peace, term that is not new whatsoever. It was economists and thinkers like Montesquieu, Paine or Mill among other who saw in commerce the power to end conflicts. The fact that wars continued is on account of the research done on democratic peace has deepened in goods and services, but not enough, if at all, capital markets, and offers only a superficial evaluation of the economic development of a certain nation (Maoz and Russett, 1992), which lead to the unknowledge of the effect of capitalism when it comes to wars. Is also worth mentioning the effect of globalisation in relation to this issue. The actual integration of the market in an international level causes, for example that the damaged caused in one country by a warfare affects other countries, even the aggressor (Angell, 1993). Cobden argues Should war break out between two great nations I have no doubt that the immense consumption of material and the rapid destruction of property would have the effect of very soon bringing the combatants to reason or exhausting their resources ( 1903, 355). Evidentially, from a capitalist point of view, the economic loss that a war would mean, would stop a liberal government of getting involved in one. Following the institutionalist logic, they would even jeopardise their position of power due to the cost of the conflict.Additionally , we should also notice the lack of wars in Europe since 1945, questioning if this is because of the cooperation and integration of the liberal democratic states in the continent, an enforced peace thanks to the U.S.A and U.S.S.R. intervention -or more accurately, non intervention- until 1989, or a combination of this two facts. Concluding, are democracies less warlike than other regimes?Even though the arguments used to sustain this theory are mainly circumstantial, they are solid enough to argue that a democratic state is less likely to be part or initiate a war against another democracy, existing more exceptions in the monadic branch of the theory than in the dyadic approach. This explains that even they are less prone to be involved in an armed conflict than other regimes, there have been cases where democracies have fought against non-democratic states.Among those exceptions, is worth highlighting the Iraq War in 2003, which was allegedly fought in order to prevent the development and use of mass-destruction weapons from the middle-eastern country. In this case, it was the United States of America who had the initiative of starting the conflict (Letґs not forget before the American intervention in 2003 Iraq was under Sadam Husseinґs dictatorship (1979-2003)). This is also an example of a possible security dilemma case, due to the fact that weapons where not used or completely developed, but there was a general fear that they could be used in a near future.References: Risse-Kappen, Thomas: Democratic Peace ” Warlike Democracy? A Social Constructivist Interpretation of the Liberal Argument, 1995.Doyle, Michale W.: Liberal Peace: Selected Essays. New York: Routledge, 2011.Rosato, S.: The Flawled Logic of Democratic Peace Theory. American Science Review, 2003.Raich, Jordi: Theory of Democratic Peace (Teora de la Paz Democrtica), 2004 (Article in Spanish)Mјller, Harald and Wolff, Jonas: Dyadic Democratic Peace Strikes Back: Reconstructing the Social Constructivist Approach After the Monadic Reinessance, 2004.Ray, James Lee: Does Democracy Cause Peace?, 2008.Ray, James Lee: Democracy and International Conflict: An Evaluation of the Democratic Peace Proposition. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1995.Weart, Spencer R.: Never at War: Why Democracies WillNever Fight One Another. New Haven. CT: Yale University Press, 1998.Rousseau, David L., Christopher Gelpi, Dan Reiter and Paul K. Hut: Assessing the Dyadic Nature of the Democratic Peace, 1918-1988. American Political Science Review, 1996. P.512-533Own, John M.: How Liberalism Produces Democratic Peace. International Security, 1994. p.87-125.Gartzke, Erik: The Capitalist Peace. Columbia University Press, 2007, p.170-173.White, Matthew: Democracies Do Not Make War on On Another Or Do They?, 2005.
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