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Wyatt Roberts
Wyatt Roberts

Peace And War: A Theory Of International Relations

A further cosmopolitan source of liberal peace is that the international market removes difficult decisions of production and distribution from the direct sphere of state policy. A foreign state thus does not appear directly responsible for these outcomes; states can stand aside from, and to some degree above, these contentious market rivalries and be ready to step in to resolve crises. The interdependence of commerce and the international contacts of state officials help create crosscutting transnational ties that serve as lobbies for mutual accommodation.23 According to modern liberal scholars, international financiers and transnational and transgovernmental organizations create interests in favor of accommodation. Moreover, their variety has ensured no single conflict sours an entire relationship by setting off a spiral of reciprocated retaliation. Trust, property rights and mutual expectation of the rule of law make economic and other disputes easier to settle. Conversely, a sense of suspicion, such as that characterizing relations between liberal and non-liberal governments, can exacerbate disputes and lead to restrictions on the range of contacts between societies and this can increase the prospect that a single conflict will determine an entire relationship.

Peace and War: A Theory of International Relations

No single constitutional, international or cosmopolitan source alone is sufficient. Kantian theory is neither solely institutional nor solely ideological, nor solely economic. But together, and only together do the three specific strands of liberal institutions, liberal ideas, and the transnational ties that follow from them plausibly connect the characteristics of liberal polities and economies with sustained liberal peace. But in their relations with non-liberal states, liberal states have not escaped from the insecurity caused by anarchy in the world political system considered as a whole. Moreover, the very constitutional restraint, international respect for individual rights, and shared commercial interests that establish grounds for peace among liberal states establish grounds for additional conflict in relations between liberal and non-liberal societies.

The democratic peace theory posits that democracies are hesitant to engage in armed conflict with other identified democracies.[1][2] 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.[3][4] 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).[5]

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.

The connection between peace and democracy has long been recognized, but theorists disagree about the direction of causality. The democratic peace theory posits that democracy causes peace, while the territorial peace theory makes the opposite claim that peace causes democracy.[6] Other theories argue 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, interdependence, alliances, US world dominance and political stability.[7][8][9][10]

Maoz and Abdolali extended the research to lesser conflicts than wars.[19] Bremer, Maoz and Russett found the correlation between democracy and peacefulness remained significant after controlling for many possible confounding variables.[20][21] This moved the theory into the mainstream of social science. Supporters of realism in international relations and others responded by raising many new objections. Other researchers attempted more systematic explanations of how democracy might cause peace,[22] and of how democracy might also affect other aspects of foreign relations such as alliances and collaboration.[23]

Some scholars support the democratic peace on probabilistic grounds: since many wars have been fought since democracies first arose, we might expect a proportionate number of wars to have occurred between democracies, if democracies fought each other as freely as other pairs of states; but proponents of democratic peace theory claim that the number is much less than might be expected.[20][46][33][27] However, opponents of the theory argue this is mistaken and claim there are numerous examples of wars between democracies.[41]

One advocate of the democratic peace explains that his reason to choose a definition of democracy sufficiently restrictive to exclude all wars between democracies are what "might be disparagingly termed public relations": students and politicians will be more impressed by such a claim than by claims that wars between democracies are less likely.[57]

Democracy thus gives influence to those most likely to be killed or wounded in wars, and their relatives and friends (and to those who pay the bulk of the war taxes.)[81] This monadic theory must, however, explain why democracies do attack non-democratic states. One explanation is that these democracies were threatened or otherwise were provoked by the non-democratic states. Doyle argued that the absence of a monadic peace is only to be expected: the same ideologies that cause liberal states to be at peace with each other inspire idealistic wars with the illiberal, whether to defend oppressed foreign minorities or avenge countrymen settled abroad.[82] Doyle also notes liberal states do conduct covert operations against each other; the covert nature of the operation, however, prevents the publicity otherwise characteristic of a free state from applying to the question.[83]

Using selectorate theory, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, James D. Morrow, Randolph M. Siverson and Alastair Smith argue that the democratic peace stems in part from the fact that democratic leaders sustain their power through large winning coalitions, which means that democratic leaders devote more resources to war, have an advantage in war, and choose wars that they are highly likely to win. These leads democratic states to avoid one another, but war with weak non-democratic states.[89]

A prominent rational choice argument for the democratic peace is that democracies carry greater audience costs than authoritarian states, which makes them better at signaling their intentions in interstate disputes.[90][91] Arguments regarding the credibility of democratic states in disputes has been subject to debate among international relations scholars. Two studies from 2001, using the MID and ICB datasets, provided empirical support for the notion that democracies were more likely to issue effective threats.[92][72] However, a 2012 study by Alexander B. Downes and Todd S. Sechser found that existing datasets were not suitable to draw any conclusions as to whether democratic states issued more effective threats.[10] They constructed their own dataset specifically for interstate military threats and outcomes, which found no relationship between regime type and effective threats.[10] A 2017 study which recoded flaws in the MID dataset ultimately conclude, "that there are no regime-based differences in dispute reciprocation, and prior findings may be based largely on poorly coded data."[10] Other scholars have disputed the democratic credibility argument, questioning its causal logic and empirical validity.[93] Research by Jessica Weeks argued that some authoritarian regime types have similar audience costs as in democratic states.[94][95]

Others state that, although there may be some evidence for democratic peace, the data sample or the time span may be too small to assess any definitive conclusions.[100][54][26] For example, Gowa finds evidence for democratic peace to be insignificant before 1939, because of the too small number of democracies, and offers an alternate realist explanation for the following period.[54] Gowa's use of statistics has been criticized, with several other studies and reviews finding different or opposing results.[72][23] However, this can be seen as the longest-lasting criticism to the theory; as noted earlier, also some supporters agree that the statistical sample for assessing its validity is limited or scarce, at least if only full-scale wars are considered.[citation needed]

The territorial peace theory argues that peace leads to democracy more than democracy leads to peace. This argument is supported by historical studies showing that peace almost always comes before democracy and that states do not develop democracy until all border disputes have been settled. These studies indicate that there is strong evidence that peace causes democracy but little evidence that democracy causes peace.[65]

The hypothesis that peace causes democracy is supported by psychological and cultural theories. Christian Welzel's human empowerment theory posits that existential security leads to emancipative cultural values and support for a democratic political organization.[101] This also follows from the so-called regality theory based on evolutionary psychology.

The territorial peace theory explains why countries in conflict with their neighbor countries are unlikely to develop democracy. The democratic peace theory is more relevant for peace between non-neighbor countries and for relations between countries that are already at peace with each other.[102] 041b061a72


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