Democratic Wars: Looking at the Dark Side of Democratic by Anna Geis

By Anna Geis

Regardless of the present rhetoric of Western leaders, democracies are nice and widespread war-makers and interventionists. This truth stands in an odd distinction to the liberal self-image of democracies being rather peaceable. Addressing this distinction, the e-book turns the 'democratic peace' subject matter on its head: instead of investigating the explanations for the intended pacifism of democracies, it appears to be like for the factors in their militancy. with a purpose to clear up this puzzle, the authors go beyond the disciplinary limitations of diplomacy and draw on political concept, political philosophy and sociology.

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Whereas Lake (1992) argues that the efficiency and the welfare of democratic economies are key criteria, Domke and Kugler (1986) conclude that democracies have no advantage over other regime types in regard to the mobilization of resources in times of war. For an introduction into the concept of securitization, see Buzan et al. (1998). From another perspective, Bueno de Mesquita (1985) argues that it may well be subjectively rational for small states to wage military conflicts with great powers if the costs of capitulation in the worst case are sufficiently high: ‘[R]ational actors can choose to wage war even when their subjective (or real) prospects of victory are very small if they care enough about the issues in question’ (1985, p.

Rasler and Thompson, 1999). Clear victories or defeats decrease in the second half of the twentieth century, whereas draw/stalemate situations and mediated and negotiated settlements increase. The statement frequently made that democracies also initiate most of their wars is also less unambiguous (cf. Reiter and Stam, 2002). Out of the 13 interstate wars identified, democratic states initiated only four (that is, roughly 30 per cent). All wars initiated by democracies occurred in the context of interstate or regional rivalries (India vs.

Most analyses about the nexus between regime type and conflict behaviour are based on the Polity data set. edu/inscr/polity. 7. Both scales comprise values from zero to ten. A polity reaching a value of more than +7, or −7 respectively, for a given year can be regarded as a coherent political system in the relevant category, that is, either as a democracy or autocracy (Jaggers and Gurr, 1995, p. 479). A regime ranging from +6 to −6 is characterized as an anocracy. The question as to exactly when a political system is an autocracy or a democracy is treated differently by different analysts (see Maoz, 1997; Marshall and Gurr, 2003).

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