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Are Democracies Inherently Peaceful - Essay Example

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The last few years witnessed strong people’s movements against monocratic rule in countries like Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The experience of these countries clearly indicates the awfulness of monocracy and military rule…
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Are Democracies Inherently Peaceful
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"Are Democracies Inherently Peaceful"

Download file to see previous pages The main reason people oppose monocracy and military rule is that countries led by such ruling systems are more likely to engage in wars and other type of international conflicts as compared to democratic system. Citizens of those states cannot obtain a peaceful living environment and this situation adversely affects their quality of living. As compared to monocracy, oligocracy, or military rule, democracies are inherently peaceful unless they are unjustifiably attacked by external powers. Giving specific focus to the era of World War I & II, this paper will discuss how democracies are inherently peaceful. Democracy and Peace Many authors opine that democracies strive to provide a peaceful living situation to their people and ensure that living standards of citizens are improved continuously. Undoubtedly, a country’s citizens are the primary stakeholders of a war as they actually bear the miseries of engaging in or financing wars. Therefore, common people are less likely to support wars or cross border intrusions. In a democratic country, people have more say in making decisions, and hence they can successfully veto individuals’ decision to fight and finance wars. In contrast, king is the sovereign ruler in monarchies and people have little participation in decision making. As a result, kings can individually take decisions to start or support wars with little personal risk. In order to improve this worse situation, leaders worldwide are strongly supporting democracy. In the opinion of Bass, the Clinton administration’s efforts to form a global ‘community of democracies’ was an attempt to bring peace to the whole world and it was greatly encouraged by many nations. As Bass notes, in their book ‘Electing to fight’, political scientists Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder opine that emerging democracies are often unstable and are more likely to fight wars. To justify their claim that new democracies without having fully formed domestic institutions are aggressive, the authors cite the examples ranging from France’s attack on Prussia in 1870 and Vladimir Putin’s ongoing monstrous clampdown in Chechnya. However, sometimes even fully formed democratic countries become warlike because of several reasons. To explain, it is better to consider the 1959 attack on Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel or Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq. Those wars were fought because the democratic governments often found it difficult to trust dictators for serious negations. Similarly, the US attack on Afghanistan in 2001 was in response to the 9/11 terror attack by Afghan militants. More clearly, some wars or interventions organized by democratic countries cannot be termed as aggressive or unpeaceful because they are ultimately aimed at the protection of fundamental democratic notions. As Buchanan points out, Elihu Root, Theodore Roosevelt’s secretary of state stated in 1917 that “to be safe, democracy must kill its enemy when it can and where it can” (np). The democratic peace theory, often referred to as democratic peace, strongly supports the argument that democracies are inherently peaceful. According to Pace, the democratic peace theory states that democracies are not likely to engage in armed conflict with other identified democracies (269). The democratic peace is contrast to the theories describing war engagement and it can be considered as a ‘theory of peace’ explaining motives that discourage state-sponsored violence. The democratic peace theory is mainly based on the premise that democratic leaders are to bear the responsibility of war losses and they are responsible for answering a voting public. In order to retain their public support, democratic leaders ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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