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Demoracy and War - Research Paper Example

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Democracy and War As humans and even geographical territories ‘evolved’ in course of history, different forms of governance came into existence to govern kingdoms, provinces/states and importantly countries. Although, in the earlier centuries, monarchies were the prominent form of governance, in the last centuries, democracy has become the most adopted and ‘favored’ form of governance…
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Download file to see previous pages In that direction, as hypothesized by various thinkers, democracies may maximally avoid indulging in war with other fellow democratic countries. So, this paper focusing on the theoretical bases for the hypothesis regarding the absence of war between democratic states, will compare the theories behind this hypothesis, including how they are complementary as well as competitive. The theories and theoretical concepts put forward by various thinkers on the above mentioned hypothesis of democratic countries avoiding wars within themselves, are constituted under Democratic peace theory. Also, known as liberal democratic theory or simply called as "democratic peace", this theory is being analyzed by various study groups in both in the current political contexts as well as historical contexts. The theory and the related hypothesis had origins in the 18th century itself, through the works of Immanuel Kant, but came into more prominent circulation and were also scientifically evaluated after 1960s only. Kant foreshadowed the basis of this theory in 1795 in his essay named, Perpetual Peace, in which he hypothesized that if the geographical territories or countries are constitutional republics, voted by common people, then there are good chances of actualizing perpetual peace. Immanuel Kant (1795) argued that “majority of the people would never vote to go to war unless it was in self defense; that if all nations were republics, it would end war, because there would be no aggressors.” (cited in Okoth, 2008). This hypothesis came into more prominence and research study in the second half of the 20th century, after the Second World War, as more democracies came into existence throughout the world. If viewed from another perspective, thinkers supporting the democracy peace theory state that due to the rise of many democracies only major wars or even Third World War has not taken place. As Barkawi and Laffey (1999) states “a defining feature of world politics in the late 20th century is the decline in the frequency of warfare between industrialized states”, with the existence of a ‘zone of peace’ between the democratic countries being attributed as the main reason. This hypothesis is further supported by a number of recent wars or conflicts, as it primarily took place between non-democratic countries or between one democratic country and a non-democratic country, but not between two democracies. For example, both the Wars in the Gulf involving Iraq in 1992 and 2003 were between an authoritarian regime and a coalition of democracies, and it is the same in the case of Afghanistan. Even the earlier wars in Korea and Vietnam involved communist regimes. However, when one views the perspective of thinkers having contrary opinions to this Democratic theory, there are exceptions to this hypothesis. For example, the Kargil War that took place between India and Pakistan in 1999 involved democracies, as well as the Israel-Egypt conflict. Although there were exceptions, democracies avoid going to war with fellow democracies due to some valid reasons. Democracies are mainly viewed as the best outcome of wars and other independence or liberation or resistance struggles. That is, in the aftermath of major wars and struggles, country ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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