Democratic Peace Theory


Essay, 2013
6 Pages, Grade: 16

Excerpt

The democratic peace theory has been widely discussed by scholars of international relations and

whereas on the one hand it is acclaimed as the “closest thing we have to a law in international

politics”[1], it is rejected as not being true by the other side. Whether the democratic peace theory is a

useful guidance for policy-makers or not is the conflict of different theories in international

relations, namely liberalism and realism. This paper wants to clarify the disparity of liberalism and

realism in the aspect of the democratic peace theory and therefore it will start with the idealist

perspective, followed by the view of the opponents of the theory and then ending with a conclusion

on the merits of democratic peace theory.

In the regard of the democratic peace theory it is difficult to find any reliable and meaningful

statistical date because this is a field of research that demands various definitions which vary from

author to author. They set up different meanings for the terms 'democracy' and 'war' respectively

'conflict'. However, specific ideas of those terms are essential as this paper will point out. However,

there have been examples of democracies fighting other democracies in wars, for instance the

Kashmir conflicts between India and Pakistan, or in more modern history the 2006 Lebanon War

and the five-day war between Georgia and Russia in 2008.

Immanuel Kant was the first one explaining that a world in which only democracies, or as he said

republics, existed would be war abstinent. He wrote in 1795 that the “Perpetual Peace will be

guaranteed by the ever-widening acceptance of three definitive articles of peace”[2] At first, in his

opinion, they have to be “republican”[3], by which he meant “democratic” in today's terms, meaning a

state respecting private property, a market-orientated economy, the legal equality of citizens, the

separation of powers and which is organized in a way of representative government. Furthermore

Kant emphasises the “pacific union”[4], to which he refers a steadily expanding group of republics

binding itself to peace. The final article offers a worldwide law and demands the acceptance of the

“right of a foreigner not to be treated with hostility when he arrives upon the soul of another

[country]”[5].

[...]


[1] Jack S. Levy, “Domestic Polics and War”, in Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 18, No. 4 (1988), pp. 653-673

[2] Michael W. Doyel, “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs” in “Debating the Democratic Peace” edt. By Michael E. Brown, Sean M. Lynn-Jones and Steven E. Miller; The MIT Press; Cambridge, Massachusetts; 1996; p. 21

[3] See 2

[4] Michael W. Doyel, “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs” in “Debating the Democratic Peace” edt. By Michael E. Brown, Sean M. Lynn-Jones and Steven E. Miller; The MIT Press; Cambridge, Massachusetts; 1996; p. 22

[5] Michael W. Doyel, “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs” in “Debating the Democratic Peace” edt. By Michael E. Brown, Sean M. Lynn-Jones and Steven E. Miller; The MIT Press; Cambridge, Massachusetts; 1996; p. 23

Excerpt out of 6 pages

Details

Title
Democratic Peace Theory
College
University of Aberdeen
Grade
16
Author
Year
2013
Pages
6
Catalog Number
V265922
ISBN (eBook)
9783656557210
ISBN (Book)
9783656557234
File size
417 KB
Language
English
Tags
democratic, peace, theory
Quote paper
Felix Wiebrecht (Author), 2013, Democratic Peace Theory, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/265922

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