Thursday, September 30, 2021

Democratic peace theory

Democratic peace theory 

The democratic peace theory posits that democracies are hesitant to engage in armed conflict with other identified democracies. Among proponents of the democratic peace theory, several factors are held as motivating peace between democratic states. Variations of the democratic peace theory emphasize that liberal and republican forms of democracies are less likely to go to war with one another. Variations of the democratic peace hold its "monadic" (democracies are in general more peaceful in their international relations); "dyadic" (democracies do not go to war with other democracies); and "systemic" (more democratic states in the international system makes the international system more peaceful).

In terms of norms and identities, it is hypothesized that democratic publics are more dovish in their interactions with other democracies, and that democratically elected leaders are more likely to resort to peaceful resolution in disputes (both in domestic politics and international politics). In terms of structural or institutional constraints, it is hypothesized that institutional checks and balances, accountability of leaders to the public, and larger winning coalitions make it harder for democratic leaders to go to war unless there are clearly favorable ratio of benefits to costs. 

These structural constraints, along with the transparent nature of democratic politics, make it harder for democratic leaders to mobilize for war and initiate surprise attacks, which reduces fear and inadvertent escalation to war. The transparent nature of democratic political systems, as well as deliberative debates (involving opposition parties, the media, experts, and bureaucrats), make it easier for democratic states to credibly signal their intentions. The concept of audience costs entails that threats issued by democratic leaders are taken more seriously because democratic leaders will be electorally punished by their publics from backing down from threats, which reduces the risk of misperception and miscalculation by states.

The democratic peace theory posits that democracies are hesitant to engage in armed conflict with other identified democracies. Among proponents of the democratic peace theory, several factors are held as motivating peace between democratic states. Variations of the democratic peace theory emphasize that liberal and republican forms of democracies are less likely to go to war with one another. Variations of the democratic peace hold its "monadic" (democracies are in general more peaceful in their international relations); "dyadic" (democracies do not go to war with other democracies); and "systemic" (more democratic states in the international system makes the international system more peaceful).

Democratic peace theory


In terms of norms and identities, it is hypothesized that democratic publics are more dovish in their interactions with other democracies, and that democratically elected leaders are more likely to resort to peaceful resolution in disputes (both in domestic politics and international politics). In terms of structural or institutional constraints, it is hypothesized that institutional checks and balances, accountability of leaders to the public, and larger winning coalitions make it harder for democratic leaders to go to war unless there are clearly favorable ratio of benefits to costs.

These structural constraints, along with the transparent nature of democratic politics, make it harder for democratic leaders to mobilize for war and initiate surprise attacks, which reduces fear and inadvertent escalation to war. The transparent nature of democratic political systems, as well as deliberative debates (involving opposition parties, the media, experts, and bureaucrats), make it easier for democratic states to credibly signal their intentions. The concept of audience costs entails that threats issued by democratic leaders are taken more seriously because democratic leaders will be electorally punished by their publics from backing down from threats, which reduces the risk of misperception and miscalculation by states. Those who dispute this theory often do so on grounds that it conflates correlation with causation; that divergent conceptualizations of "democracy" and "war" lead to divergent results; the purported causal mechanisms of the democratic peace are not theoretically credible; and that omitted variables explain the correlation better than democratic peace theory. Alternative explanations for the correlation of peace among democracies include arguments revolving around institutions, commerce, alliances, and political stability.

Previous Question                          Next Question

0 comments: