Democratic Peace

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The Democratic Peace a.k.a. Kantain Peace is a theory that proposes that liberal democracies do wage war on one another.

Contents

Origin

In his 1795 essay Perpetual Peace [[Immanuel Kant] asserted that responsible governments would not lightly go to war with each other, although he thought that this was only one of several necessary conditions for a perpetual peace. The almost millennial expectation of a democratic peace is evident in Woodrow Wilson's Wilson, T. Woodrow: Message to Congress April 2, 1917 asking Congress to declare war and is reflected in his two slogans: "a war to end war" Nixon, Richard M.: Televised speech, November 3, 1969 and "a world safe for democracy". His plans for the peace after that war, which can be traced back to 1894, were strongly similar to Kant's proposal, including both Kant’s cosmopolitan law and pacific union. The third of the Fourteen Points specified the removal of economic barriers between peaceful nations; the fourteenth provided for the League of Nations. See Bruce M. Russett's "Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World"

The idea that "[d]emocracy encourages peaceful interaction between states" has been around since the Enlightenment, this idea being most directly attributed to Immanuel Kant.<ref>Gleditsch, 1992, p. 369</ref> Kant develops the idea of a ‘pacific union’ in his short treatise Perpetual Peace (1795). Kant’s argument for a perpetual peace is developed in several stages. Kant believed that all constitutions should be republican in form as this imparts legitimacy upon the political leaders as well as allowing for popular support.

Dean Babst, a Wisconsin criminologist, wrote the first academic paper on the subject, in 1964, in Wisconsin Sociologist; he published a slightly more popularized version, eight years later, in the trade journal Industrial Research. He asserted that none of the major wars counted in Quincy Wright’s A Study of War (1942; but it had recently been reprinted) were between elected governments; although he does not discuss the wars in detail. His statistical analysis consists of calculating the chance that of the 33 established nations which participated in WWI and four were chosen at random to be the Central Powers, all ten democracies among the 33 would wind up on the same side — and a similar calculation for WWII. These obscure journals did not attract much notice, with two exceptions:

The peace theorists J. David Singer and Melvin Small denied that democracies were in general less war-like than other nations; but they found only two marginal cases of democracies fighting each other. This paper was published in the Jerusalem Journal of International Relations, in 1976, and eventually brought the attention of several political scientists to the underlying contention — partly through Michael Doyle's lengthy discussion of the topic.

Image:DP BACKSIDE V 16.JPG
Democratic Peace Charts by R. J. Rummel and others
High Resolution PDF

Rudolph J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii cited Babst's work in the fourth book of his five-volume work, Understanding Conflict and War (1975-1981). He has since written extensively on the democratic peace, and has also drawn considerable lay attention to the subject.

Most studies of the democratic peace deal with the last two centuries or so; Spencer Weart, the historian of twentieth-century science, has also made claims about "republics", by which he means governments by discussion between equals, in general. He thus extends the subject to the city-states of Greece and the Middle Ages, and the cantons of Switzerland. His treatment of Greek history has been severely criticized; he omits the wars of the Roman Republic altogether. <ref>His account of Greek history relies largely on conjecture. He omits several wars between oligarchic republics, including the recurrent ones between Sparta and Argos, and the Lelantine War. He excludes the earlier wars of Rome, including the Punic Wars, on the grounds that the sources are dubious; yet he uses Xenophon, who has also been doubted. Also, modern classicists agree (and we have non-Roman evidence in Aristotle) that Rome and Carthage were oligarchic republics, "which suggests that excluding them was a largely arbitrary judgment that just happened to leave Weart's central claim intact." Template:Cite journal Cross-reference:Template:Note .</ref>

There have been numerous studies in the field since.<ref>See the bibliography of Rummel's website. Rummel is partisan, and the bibliography lacks some recent papers; but still one of the better introductions to the subject.</ref> Most studies have found some form of democratic peace exists; although neither methodological disputes nor doubtful cases are entirely resolved. Template:Dubious<ref>See Kinsella 2005</ref>. Many of these papers are discussed elsewhere in this article.


Democratic peace theory has been extremely divisive among the students of international relations. It is rooted in the idealist and liberal traditions; and is strongly opposed to the realist idea of the balance of power. However, democratic peace theory has come to be more widely accepted, and some democracies accept it as policy.

Current events

Presidents of both the major American parties have expressed support for the theory. Former President Bill Clinton of the Democratic Party: "Ultimately, the best strategy to ensure our security and to build a durable peace is to support the advance of democracy elsewhere. Democracies don't attack each other." <ref> {{

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}}</ref> Current President George W. Bush of the Republican Party: "And the reason why I'm so strong on democracy is democracies don't go to war with each other. And the reason why is the people of most societies don't like war, and they understand what war means.... I've got great faith in democracies to promote peace. And that's why I'm such a strong believer that the way forward in the Middle East, the broader Middle East, is to promote democracy." <ref> {{

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}}</ref> However, such use of democratic peace theory to justify a foreign policy that includes military action, such as the 2003 Iraq War, has proved controversial <ref> Owen 2005</ref> Jack Levy wrote, before the Berlin Wall fell, that the seeming absence of war between democracies is, “as close to anything we have to empirical law in international relations.”<ref>Levy, Jack S. 1989. "The Causes of War: A Review of Theories and Evidence" in Behavior, Society, and Nuclear War, Volume 1, edited by P. E. Tetlock, J. L. Husbands, R. Jervis, P. C. Stern and C. Tilly. New York: Oxford University Press.</ref>

In March 2006, there are several potential crises between arguable democracies. The Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Republic of Iran, for example, have held elections for some years, with universal suffrage, and these have removed incumbents from power; so they satisfy the formal or quantitative requirements of most theories of the democratic peace. Their adherence to democratic norms of conduct and civil liberties, however, is far more doubtful; and the anomalous position of the Supreme Leader in Iran raises more questions.

Setting aside the question of whether the democratic peace applies to these cases at all, the predictions of democratic peace theory are still limited. No theorist denies that democracies have acted against one another by covert or non-military means. Even small military confrontations between democracies have happened; many theorists claim they are rarer than between other states. Kantian theorists regard mutual democracy as a necessary but not sufficient condition for peace; and even non-Kantians acknowledge the possibility of war in exceptional cases.

However that may be, 2006 has provided one refinement to democratic peace theory: there is little, if any, discussion in the literature of the possibility that someone should regard somebody else's election results as being in themselves an unfriendly act.

Types of Theories

Babst asserted that democracies fight fewer wars in general; but all his evidence was directed to proving the special case that democracies do not fight each other. The first proposition has become known as the monadic peace, because peace or war depend on the internal affairs of a single state; the second as the dyadic peace, because peace is a function of pairs of states.

Singer and Small discussed both propositions; they found no support for the general, monadic, proposition, and very few peace theorists hold it.<ref>Singer and Small 1976; Rummel is "virtually alone" in doing so; Rummel's evidence is drawn only from 1976-1980; and the post-Vietnam years may be exceptional. See Russett 2003, p. 139 n. 3, and Gelditsch 1992. There are also some very recent monadic papers, as cited in Müller and Wolff 2004, which regards monadic theories as "neither necessary nor convincing".</ref> Doyle argued that this 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. <ref>Doyle 1983, part 2</ref> If there is a monadic tendency to peace, it is not large.<ref> Rummel classified almost half the wars between Waterloo and the fall of the Berlin wall as including a democracy (155 to 198); and yet democracies were rarely as many as a quarter of all states.</ref>

Separate peace theories claim that democracies are more likely to go to war with non-democracies than non-democracies are with each otherTemplate:Dubious. The militant democracy theory divides democracies into militant and pacifist types. Militant democracies have a tendency to distrust and use confrontational policies against dictatorships; which could actually make war more likely between a democracy and a non-democracy than in the case of relations between two non-democraciesTemplate:Dubious. Moreover, a democratic crusade corollary suggests that the belief in the validity DPT itself could become a cause of war. <ref> Chan 1997p.59 and papers there cited.</ref> In the case of the United States intervention in World War I and recent invasion of Iraq, the promise of democratization bringing an end to war was used as a justification for war.

The earliest theorists of the democratic peace, and some later supporters, have claimed that democracies, properly defined, have never made war on each other. Other supporters admit a few exceptions, which they usually view as doubtful or marginal cases. Almost all democratic peace theorists regard the democratic peace as an empirical or statistical regularity: wars between democracies are rare, or very rare, but not impossible - so this difference amounts to the question of whether something that happens once in a blue moon has happened yet.<ref>Again, Rummel, who argues for a necessary and mechanical connexion, is an exception. Gleditsch 1992</ref>

Most theories of the democratic peace discuss both wars and lesser conflicts: and hold that full-scale wars between democracies are rare or non-existent, but lesser conflicts are merely less common between democracies than between other pairs of states. <ref>Some DPTs do not discuss lesser conflicts; Doyle 1983 denies that they are less common.</ref>

Claims

A democratic peace theory has to define what it means by "democracy" and what it means by "peace" (or, more often, "war"), and what it claims as the link between the two.

Democracy and War

Democratic peace theorists have used different terms for the class of states they consider peaceable; Babst called them elective, Rummell liberal democracies, Doyle liberal regimes. In general, these usually require not only that the government and legislature be chosen by free and actually contested elections, but more. Studies claiming what we may call an "absolute" democratic peace require variously that two-thirds of adult males, or half the whole adult population, be able to vote (requiring universal suffrage including women would mean no war between democracies was even possible before 1894; also secret ballot (Babst), or a waiting time for the democracy to stabilize.

One major concept of what constitutes a liberal democracy and what constitutes war is from J. David Singer’s Correlates of War Project.<ref> See the Correlates of War site. Click on Available Data Sets for particular databases.</ref> This definition of war and democracy is summarized as: (a) free elections with opposition parties, (b) a minimum suffrage (10%), and (c) a parliament either in control of the executive or at least enjoying parity with it. <ref>Gleditsch, Nils P. 1992. Democracy and Peace. "Journal of Peace Research" 29 (4):369-376; Small, Melvin, and J. David Singer. 1976. The War Proneness of Democratic Regimes, 1816-1965. "Jerusalem Journal of International Relations" 1:50-69.</ref> War is defined as any military action resulting in over 1000 deaths. <ref>Gleditsch, Nils P. 1992.</ref> This may well be too high; but it is reasonable to exclude trivial conflicts which democracies have settled without escalation; but no available dataset both has a lower limit, and sets it lower than the Correlates of War.<ref>Gleditsch 1995</ref>.

Doyle’s research<ref>Doyle, Michael W. 1983a. Kant, Liberal Legacies and Foreign Affairs. Philosophy & Public Affairs 12 (3):205-235; continued in Doyle, Michael W. 1983b. Kant. Liberal Legacies and Foreign Affairs, Part 2. "Philosophy & Public Affairs" 12 (4):323-354</ref> observed that "[e]ven though liberal states have become involved in numerous wars with non-liberal states, constitutionally secure liberal states have yet to engage in war with each other". <ref>Doyle 1983a, p. 213, emphasis in original quote</ref> This was a result of a less inclusive definition of what constitutes a liberal democracy. Doyle defined a liberal democracy as a state that was brought to power by a contested election, allowing the voting franchise of a large percentage of its citizens, an executive that was either popularly elected or responsible to the legislature, and having requirements of civil liberties and free speech. <ref>Doyle has a much looser standard for suffrage: either 30% of the adult males were able to vote or it was possible for every man to acquire voting rights, as by buying a freehold. He requires that women's suffrage be granted within a generation of it being demanded. Nevertheless, Doyle counts the northern United States as liberal throughout its history, despite the 72 years from the Seneca Convention to the Nineteenth amendment.</ref> Doyle also treats one exceptional case by observing that both sides were under liberal goverments less than three years old, and so democracy had not stabilized; other authors have treated this as a general rule, excluding from consideration any war in which either side has been a democracy for less than three years. <ref>Doyle 1983a; cf. Russett 1993</ref> Additionally, this allows for other states to actually come to the recognition of the state as a democracy.

Doyle also allows greater power to hereditary monarchs than other theories of a strictly democratic peace; for example, he counts the rule of Louis-Philippe of France - and that of Robespierre - as a liberal regíme. He describes Wilhelmine Germany as "a difficult case....In practice, a liberal state under republican law for domestic affairs...divorced from the control of its citizenry in foreign affairs."<ref>Doyle 1983. Quote from footnote 8, pp.216-7. </ref>

As for wars, these are simply defined as war that has been declared, where a clash or series of clashes occurs, allowing for only one victor, characterized by a highly ritualized beginning and end <ref>Russett, Bruce. 1993. "Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World". Princeton: Princeton University Press; 50-51.</ref><ref>Manicas, Peter. 1989. "War and Democracy". London: Basil Blackwell; 27.</ref> Doyle excluded one possible exception from his theory on the grounds that both sides had recently been subject to illiberal regimes, and so the culture of liberalism was not yet established. Other peace theorists, especially of an absolute peace, extend this to excluding all wars in which either side has been a democracy for less than three years. <ref>Doyle 1983a; Rummel 2003</ref>

Researchers often use Ted Gurr's Polity Data Set which scores each state on two scales, one of democracy and one for autocracy, for each year since 1800; as well as others. <ref> Such additional data sources include the {{

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}}</ref> The use of this has varied. Some researchers have done correlations between the democracy scale and belligerence; others have treated it as a binary classification by (as its maker does) calling all states with a high democracy score and a low autocracy score democracies; yet others have used the difference of the two scores, sometimes again making this into a binary classification. <ref>Gleditsch 1992</ref>

Internal violence

Research also shows that wars involving democracies are less violent and that democracies have much less internal political violence. The most democratic and the most authoritarian states have few civil wars, and intermediate regimes the most. The probability for a civil war is also increased by political change, regardless whether toward greater democracy or greater autocracy. Intermediate regimes continue to be the most prone to civil war, regardless of the time since the political change. In the long run, since intermediate regimes are less stable than autocracies, which in turn are less stable than democracies, durable democracy is the most probable end-point of the process of democratization.<ref>Hegre et al. 2001 PDF</ref>

Some recent papers have found that proportional representation is associated with less external and internal systematic violence.<ref>Binningsbø 2000; Leblang and Chan 2003</ref>

Kantian peace

Michael Doyle reintroduced Kant's three articles into democratic peace theory. He argued that a pacific union of liberal states has been growing for the past two centuries. He denies that a pair of states will be peaceful simply because they are both liberal democracies; if that were enough, liberal states would not be aggressive towards weak non-liberal states (as the history of American relations with Mexico shows they are). Rather, liberal democracy is a necessary condition for international organization and hospitality (which are Kant's other two articles) — and all three are sufficient to produce peace. <ref>This paragraph is entirely from Doyle 1983.</ref> In a similar assertion, Islamic tradition holds that peace will prevail within the dar al-Islam, but war, including jihad, beyond that zone.

Several theorists, led by Bruce Russett and John R. Oneal have since found multiple causes for such general peace as we have seen; usually about three, which resemble Kant's. Several of these theorists call their result the Kantian peace. The modern Kantian theory argues that democracy, more trade causing greater economic interdependence, and membership in more intergovernmental organizations are positively related to each other; but that each has an independent pacifying effect.<ref> See, among others, Russett & Oneal Triangulating Peace and the preliminary papers Russett et al. (1998); Oneal and Russett (1999)</ref> This idea is in keeping with the theory of Institutionalism or Neoliberalism.<ref>Alexander Wendt,Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge, 1999), 68 and chapter 5 passim.</ref>

Statistical Studies

Each theory of democratic peace has had its statistical studies, which have found confirmation for it and sometimes denied others; there have also been studies which deny democratic peace theories without affirming another. <ref> See Ray (1998) and Gowa Bullets and Ballots below. These are pro and con, respectively. Another critical study is Spiro 1994</ref> However, democratic peace theories are highly controversial, and the findings of individual studies are often vigorously disputed.

Studies have also argued that lesser conflicts (Militarized Interstate Disputes in the jargon) between democracies have been more violent; but rare, less bloody, and less likely to spread.<ref> See Wayman 2002; Russet and Oneal 2004; Beck et al. 2004. MIDs are conflicts short of war but include the conflicts that precede a war. </ref> Democracies also reach more negotiated settlements,<ref>Müller and Wulf 2004</ref> and military conflicts between any two democracies are rarely repeated.<ref> Hensel et al. 2000.</ref> There have been many more MIDs than wars; the Correlates of War Project counts several thousands during the last two centuries . Most such disputes involving democracies since 1950 have involved only four nations: the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, and India.<ref>Müller 2004; Müller and Wolff 2004</ref>

The Human Security Report, released in October 2005 by the Human Security Centre, documents the dramatically decline in warfare and civil wars since the end of the Cold War. It claims that the two main causes are the end of the Cold War itself and decolonization; but claims also the underlying force of all the articles of the Kantian triad, noting that each has contributed materially. <ref> Human Security Report 2005 p.148-150. Fuller evidence of these claims is promised in the 2006 Report, and can be found in the papers cited in the present version. </ref> The improvement in the peace of the world since the end of the Cold War has been tabulated here.<ref> See the Global Confilict Trends page of the Center for Systematic Peace.</ref> Rummel argues that the continuing increase in democracy worldwide will soon lead to an end to wars and democide, possibly around or even before the middle of this century.<ref>Rummel's Power Kills website, viewed February 10, 2006</ref>

There are also some difficulties in the application of statistical methods to the problem, especially to question of causation.<ref> The difficulties and disputes involved are discussed at some length in Case studies and theory development in the social sciences by Alexander L. George and Andrew Bennett. </ref>


Studies of many variables

Many papers have studied the multiple correlations involving peace or war. For example, Stuart Bremer<ref>Bremer 1992</ref> did a sutdy of seven variables traditionally expected to produce peace or war. He found that six of them had a genuine effect, independent of all the others, in predicting whether a given pair of states were likely to go to war or not. Mutual democracy was fourth of these, behind the existence of a common boundary (which predicts war), an alliance between the two states, and higher than average wealth per head (both of which predict peace).

Ray collected a dozen such studies showing that democracy has some statistically significant correlation with peace, "even after controlling for a large number of factors" (not, of course, all controlled simultaneously); including economic interdependence, membership in international organizations, contiguity, power status, alliance ties, militarization, economic wealth and economic growth, power ratio, and political stability. <ref>The collection is in Ray 1998; quote from Bremer 1993; more recent multivariate studies are Russet and Oneal 2004, Reiter 2001, Reuveny and Li 2003, and Ray 2003. </ref>

Causes

The democratic peace has been derived both from institutional and cultural constraints on the behavior of democratic societies. The case for institutional constrainsts goes back to Kant, who wrote :

"[I]f the consent of the citizens is required in order to decide that war should be declared (and in this constitution it cannot but be the case), nothing is more natural than that they would be very cautious in commencing such a poor game, decreeing for themselves all the calamities of war. Among the latter would be: having to fight, having to pay the costs of war from their own resources, having painfully to repair the devastation war leaves behind, and, to fill up the measure of evils, load themselves with a heavy national debt that would embitter peace itself and that can never be liquidated on account of constant wars in the future" <ref>Kant, 1795, Cf. Reiss 1970:100</ref>

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). This mechanism is supported by the example of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, in which the Sejm resisted and vetoed most royal proposals for war<ref>For a description, see Template:Cite book 2000. Especially Pp. 9-11, 114, 181, 323. </ref>, like those of Władysław IV Vasa. 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 argues that democracies are more likely to be provoked than other powers, since they conduct a more idealistic foreign policy. <ref>Doyle 1983</ref>

One idea is that liberal democracies have a common culture and that this creates good relations. However, there have been many wars between non-democracies that share a common culture. Democracies are however characterized by rule of law, and therefore the inhabitants may be used to resolve disputes through arbitration rather than by force. This may reduce the use of force between democracies.

Weart's "republics" are culturally inclined to settle disputes by arbitration.<ref>Weart, Never at War, pp. 11-12, 28</ref> Unfortunately, republics have always been divided into democrats and oligarchs, which view each other with feat and hatred, as less-than-human outgroups, at home and abroad. <ref> Democrats view oligarchs as oppressive; oligarchs view democracy as government by the "bad men", as the Greek oligarchs put it. See extracts from Theognis, and the Constitution of the Athenians by Pseudo-Xenophon (translation)</ref> Democracies, he asserts, have never had a full-scale war; his account of wars between oligarchies is confused: at one point, the only battles between oligarchies are in trecento Italy, at another this is retracted; at yet other points he so identifies two other wars. Template:Dubious<ref>Weart, p.42; exception retracted p. 49</ref> He makes another exception for democracies that percieve each other as non-democracies.<ref>Weart, pp. 33-34</ref>

Several reviews, including a generally friendly one, question Weart's conclusion that universal democracy will mean lasting peace. If peace depends on perception, democratic leaders may misperceive each other as authoritarian.<ref>"The possibility that the Athenians were wrong suggests a qualification to our rule. Instead of saying that well-established democracies do not make war on their own kind, perhaps we should say that they do not make war on other states they perceive to be democracies. This is an important point, to which we shall return." Weart Pp. 33-34. There is no ancient evidence for this perception, and our major source on Syracusan democracy is Thucydides, the Athenian. Template:Cite journal The chief passage from Thucydides is 6.32-41, particularly 6.39, in which Thucydides has the Syracusan democrat Athenagoras praising the constitution of his country. Crossreference; Template:Note</ref> More seriously, if the outgroup of oligarchs disappears, what will prevent the democracies from dividing into a new ingroup and outgroup? <ref> Template:Cite journal. Walt's reviewTemplate:Ref also asks the second question. </ref>

David E. Spiro points out at some length that much of the democratic peace is in fact peace between allied democratic states, which have (unlike other alliances), not broken down into war between the allies. He regards this effect as the reality of the demcratic peace; ascribing the rest of it to chance. Conversely, Christopher Layne analysed the crises and brinkmanship that took place between non-allied democratic great powers, during the relatively brief period when such existed. He found no evidence either of institutional or cultural constraints against war; indeed, there was popular sentiment in favor of war on both sides. Instead, in all cases, one side concluded that it could not afford to risk that war at that time, and made the necessary concessions. As he observes, most crises do not result in war. Layne does not discuss the second Venezuela crisis of 1902, or the Siamese crisis of 1893. <ref> Spiro 1994; Layne 1994.</ref> (If this pattern were true of all democracies, the results of military crises between them would largely depend on their relative strength. A more recent study denies this <ref>Gelpi and Griesdorf 2001</ref>; lesser powers, however, tend to avoid war altogether<ref>Bremer 1992 and papers there referenced</ref>)

On the other hand, Mansfield and Snyder argue that democratizing leaders are more likely to fight wars, whether or not they win, as a means of handling internal tension<ref> Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go to War. Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder. : MIT Press, 2005, as reviewed in Owen 2005</ref>. They find that all wars between democracies involve one less than five years old; Hensel found the same of almost all lesser conflicts<ref>Hensel et al. 2000</ref>,

Two of the militant democracies listed above were dominant naval powers, and therefore had greater choice whether and where to fight.<ref> Compare Alfred Thayer Mahan: The Influence of Sea Power on History, ad init..</ref>

A game-theoretic explanation is that the participation of the public and open debate send clear and reliable information regarding the intentions of democracies to other states. In contrast, it is difficult to know the intentions of nondemocratic leaders, what effect concessions will have, and if promises will be kept. Thus there will be mistrust and unwillingness to make concessions if at least one of the parties in a dispute is a nondemocracy. <ref> Levy and Razin 2004</ref>

Exceptions

Any theory of democratic peace must face certain apparent wars between arguable democracies. The theories which claim absolute democratic peace solve the following problems by restricting the definition of democracy, and sometimes of war; more recent authors observe that a few doubtful cases do not disprove the democratic peace. The most common exceptions of this kind are the Spanish American War and the (somewhat technical) state of war between Finland and the Western Allies during World War II; Gleditsch proposes a general exception for incidental states of war between democracies during large multi-polar wars; which are fortunately rare. <ref> For example, Chan 1997; Maoz 1997 and Bremer 1992 explicitly acknowledge the Spanish-American War as a solitary exception. Most papers on DPT call wars between democracies "rare", as does Gleditsch 1995: Gleditsch acknowledges both the exceptions above. Doyle (1983) mentions the Paquisha War and the Lebanese air force's intervention in the Six Day War. Cross reference to this note:Template:Note </ref> which is a statistical tendency, and will, in the perversity of human affairs, have exceptions. Correlation studies do not admit exceptions, only outliers.

Kant held that some wars are to be expected; the resulting suffering is what will convince the nations to actually do the reasonable thing, and establish a lasting peace; some Kantian theorists prefer to follow him in this. <ref> Cederman 2001, p. 18-19, quoting Kant's Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose (1784) </ref> Other Kantians do not expect the democratic peace to include undeveloped states; they find that mutual democracy does not have any pacific effect if either of the democracies is poor - in fact the chance of war increases. Naturally, the pacific effect still exists, but is lessened, for countries with less severe poverty. <ref> Less than $1400/head; see Mousseau et al. 2003, other papers by Mousseau, and Hegre 2003</ref> It may well be that the culture of democracy is distorted by the stresses of poverty; the degree required to cancel or reverse the effects of the democratic peace is that of Zimbabwe - a misery unknown among democracies during the period studied.

A couple of the advocates of perfect democratic peace have examined the rather extensive record of wars and lesser conflicts between "primâ facie democracies".<ref>One list of such wars is at Matthew's White's website , with arguments on both sides. Quotation from Ray 1998, p.114</ref>. They conclude that no democracy has gone to war with another, unless:

  • One of the democracies perceives the other as a non-democracy. <ref> Weart, p.34 on the Sicilian Expedition. This unevidenced conjecture is criticized in reviews by the classicist Richardson and the democratic peace theorist John M. Owen.Template:Ref</ref>
  • There is a war of secession; and, as often, a peace party has severe difficulty remaining within the laws of the attempted secession <ref>For example, the American Revolution, the American Civil War, the Anglo-Irish War. The peace party among the rebellious area, in all three cases, mostly declared their loyalty to the legitimacy of the metropolitan state; whereas the peace party in the metropolis mostly operated openly and within its laws. The situation is assymetric; victory is much more important to the secessionists. George Washington was risking his head if defeated; Lord North his job.</ref>
  • One democracy tolerates feuds among its citizens<ref>Many of the wars of the Italian city-states; the wars between the United States and the American Indians.</ref>
  • One democracy is controlled by entrenched politicians, corruptly or otherwise.<ref>Weart so analyses the Spanish-American War</ref>
  • The democracy has a limited citizen body<ref>This not only includes suffrage limitations by wealth or status, but cases in which citizenship is not readily attainable by immigrants; like ancient Athens or Boer Republics - or modern Germany.</ref>
  • Ambitious generals or unelected Commanders-in-Chief have substantial influence on civilian decision-making.<ref>For example, the First World War; as regards the Germans, the British, the French, and the Belgians. For the first three, see Layne 1994; for Belgium, see John Keegan's First World War p.78 ff'.</ref>.
  • There is any other body of domestic opinion pleased by this particular war.<ref>For example, the war of the Second French Republic against Mazzini's Roman Republic.</ref>

In most of these cases, the investigators declare that the blemished state is no real democracy; compare the no true Scotsman problem<ref> No true Scotsman fights a war Asia Times 31 January 2006, by their military affairs columnist</ref>. The blemished belligerent is often a new regime; always so, in the case of wars of secession. Some examples considered involve a small number of battlefield deaths, and so are counted as lesser conflicts. <ref>For example, the conflict between India and Pakistan in 1947; the massive civilian deaths in that year do nor appear to concern them.</ref>

Criticisms

There are at least four logically distinguishable classes of criticism of any theory of democratic peace.

  • That the theorist has not applied his criteria, for democracy or war or both, accurately to the historical record.
  • That the criteria are not reasonable. For example, critics may prefer that liberal democracy should exclude or include both of Germany and the United Kingdom at the time of WWI, rather than count one as democratic and the other non-democratic, when they were quite similar societies.
  • That the theory may not actually mean very much, because it has limited its data below the level of significance, or because it promises only a limited peace, involving only a small class of states; for example, democracies have fought many offensive colonial and imperialistic wars.
  • That it is not democracy itself but some other external factor(s) which happened to be associated with democratic states that explain the peace.

Often, the same theory will be seen as vulnerable to several of these criticisms at the same time.

Errors

Spiro (and others) have criticized the democratic peace theorists for errors of fact and method. His most serious crticism applies to the statistical methods which calculate an expected number of wars between pairs of democracies by calculating the whole number of pairs of states at war and then multiplying by the proportion of pairs of states which are both democracies.

He argues that the whole number of belligerent pairs is inflated by counting relatively formal states of war: In the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, several lesser German principalities took part on both sides. The number of pairs here is vastly increased by counting all of these as at war with each other, even when their forces never met. Again, Belgium was formally at war with North Korea and China during the Korean War, although fewer Belgians were killed than by falling off ladders. <ref>Spiro 1994; for other criticisms, see Rossami 2003</ref>

Some democratic peace theorists make this situation worse by removing weak instances of democracies at war without pruning the whole list of formal wars – which pruning has never been tried. Supporters and opponents of the democratic peace<ref>See Gleditsch 1995, Gowa Ballots and Bullets.</ref> agree that this is bad statistics.

Spiro also shows that both wars and democracies are so rare that a war between democracies is unlikely in most years, even before making these corrections. However, just as a pair of dice should roll seven every so often, this unlikehood should have come up over the last two centuries much more frequently than it has, other things being equal.<ref>Spiro 1994; answer recast from Maoz 1997</ref>

Limited claims

This has been a persistent class of criticism by realist critics: that "democracies have been few in number over the past two centuries, and thus there have few opportunities where democracies were in a position to fight one another." This is particularly cogent against the theories which claim that no two democracies have ever gone to war (which this article may call an "absolute" democratic peace), and argue that the Confederate States of America, the Boer republics, the Second French Republic, and so on, were not real democracies for one or another reason; and also with respect to the nineteenth century data. Only half a dosen republics or crowned republics achieved 2/3 male suffrage before the late nineteenth century, and several of those only for a few years. <ref>Quote from Mearshimer 1990, p.50; the argument is supported at length by Spiro 1994, Layne 1994. </ref>

Joanne Gowa analyzed the claims of these theorists. She finds that there were so few democracies before 1939 that the claims of the theory can be deemed statstically significant.

She also finds that there were only independent, non-allied, Great Powers for a relatively short time before the Entente Cordiale of 1904; and that there were several crises and minor conflicts, between them, in several of which war was popular on both sides. While war was averted in these cases, there was only one war between Powers in that period, and the Spanish-American War was between a democracy and a borderline democracy.) <ref> See Jeanne Gowa, Bullets and Ballots, p.61 ff. For the greater tendency of the Powers to be involved in war, see Bremer 1992; the converse of this is that small-poweer status is an external cause of peace. Which side of the borderline Spain falls on depends on which edition of Ted Gurr's list you read. She finds similar, although more significant, results if lesser conflicts are included.</ref> The democratic peace since 1945 she finds significant, but largely explained by the external cause of the Cold War (see below).

Doyle <ref>Doyle 1983.</ref> expressly acknowledges that liberal states do conduct covert operations against each other; but argues that the same ideology that produces the liberal peace makes them ashamed of these actions. Most other papers on the democratic peace do not discuss the matter, being more narrowly focused on war or lesser, but military, conflicts.

Some democratic peace theories implicitly or explicitly exclude the first years of democracies; either explicitly, or, for example, by requiring that the executive result from a substantively contested election. ("For all intents and purposes, George Washington was unopposed for election as President, both in 1789 and 1792";<ref>Quote from the National Archives of the United States.</ref> therefore any theory that has this requirement would exclude the entire Washington Administration from the category of democracy. Theories that require an actual transfer of power between parties would also exclude the administration of John Adams.) Such theories do not forbid, and are not violated by, aggression by an established democracy against a new, nascent or incipient democracy.

Many democratic peace theories do not count conflicts as wars which do not kill a thousand on the battlefield; thus neither the bloodless Cod Wars nor wars which kill large numbers of civilians (such as the Partition of 1947 or the Yugoslav wars of the 1990's) violate them. In some such cases, the democracy of one or both belligerents is also disputable.

Colonial wars and imperialism

One criticism against a general peacefulness for liberal democracies is that they were involved in more colonial and imperialistic wars than other states during the 1816-1945 period. On the other hand, this relation disappears if controlling for factors like power and number of colonies. Liberal democracies have less of these wars than other states after 1945. This might be related to changes in the perception of non-European peoples, as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. <ref> Ravlo and Glieditsch 2000 </ref>

Related to this is the human rights violations committed against native people, sometimes by liberal democracies. One response is that many of the worst crimes were committed by nondemocracies, like in the European colonies before the nineteenth century, in King Leopold II of Belgium's privately owned Congo Free State, and in Stalin's Soviet Union. England abolished slavery in British territory in 1833, immediately after the First Reform Bill had significantly increased democracy. (Of course, the abolition of the slave trade had been enacted under the Tories; and many DPT's would disclaim so undemocratic a state as Melbourne's England in other contexts.)

External causes

As Doyle notes, the theory of a Kantian peace contradicts the theories of democratic peace which claim that mutual democracy, even mutual liberal democracy, will create a lasting peace without the other two Kantian articles. <ref>Doyle 1983</ref>

There has also been a confluence of the old theory (dating back to Richard Cobden and Benjamin Constant) that Free Trade will produce and ensure peace,<ref> See John Morley:Life of Richard Cobden and Francois Furet: Passing of an Illusion. </ref> with the modern theory that trade will produce democracy, or at least spread it to the non-democratic trading partner, as argued by Houshang Amiramahdi and others. According to this, democracy and peace are indeed correlated, because they arise from a common cause.

Alternatively, one may claim that any apparent association between democracy and peace is an illusion, due in part to chance, and in part to peace being induced by other and transient causes. In particular, the presence of a common foe has frequently induced states, which happen to be democracies, to ally.

Joanne Gowa observes that much of the data used to infer an absolute democratic peace consists of Western democracies not going to war with each other while allied against the Soviet Union, and argues that this offers limited hope that non-allied democracies will remain at peace. This again overlaps with the third category above, since there is also an argument that the relative peace of the twenty-first century (so far), is due to the completion of decolonization. (John Mearsheimer offers a similar analysis of the Anglo-American peace before 1945, caused by the German threat.) David Spiro would reply that these stable alliances are the democratic peace; although Gowa denies that the Western powers are in any sense "natural" allies. <ref> Gowa: Bullets and Ballots chapter VI; "A democratic peace does not exist in the pre-1914 world, and it cannot be extrapolated to the post-Cold War era", p.113. Mearsheimer 1990. For the other side, Spiro 1990 .</ref>

Gowa explains the Cold War peace between the Western powers as arising from their natural interests, in the traditional realist mode; this does not explain, nor is it intended to, the low domestic violence in democracies.

Counterexamples

According to Robert A. Doughty, as late as 1902 Frnce had a highly classified cointingency plan for the surprise invasion of Britain with 65,000 (2005: 39)

Countercriticisms

Gowa's use of statistics has been criticized, with several other studies finding opposing results. Ray objects that the same arguments should show that the Communist bloc would be at peace within itself; and it was not. Again, there were several wars and conflicts within the Western Alliance, but in each case involving a non-democratic member of the Free World. <ref>Ray 1998 Several of the conflicts Ray cites are nowhere near a thousand battlefield deaths. </ref>

Singer and Small explained Babst's original observation by observing that many democracies are not adjacent, and that wars tend very strongly to be between neighboring states. Gleditsch has partly answered this by showing that the average distance between democracies is about 8000 miles, the same as the average distance between all states. As he observes, few states can project power anywhere near that distance; Vanuatu and Iceland may be expected to be at peace, whatever their regimes.<ref>Gleditsch 1995; Gleditsch believes that the effect of distance in preventing war, modified by the democratic peace, explains the incidence of war as fully as it can be explained.</ref>

It has also been suggested that democracies rarely fight wars because war, or impending war, tends to destroy democracy. (Such an effect should mean that surviving democracies fight nobody; which would be a monadic theory.) Mousseau and Shi studied all states, inquiring whether the onset of war decreased democracy, either temporarily or permanently, and found most wars had no significant effect, but some did. <ref>Mousseau and Shi 1999</ref>

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