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Why might democracies be more peaceful in their relations with each other than with state that are not democracies - Essay Example

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This paper discusses the topic of why democratic States might be more peaceful in their relations with each other than with States that are not democracies. The first part summarizes the notions of society, State, and democracy. The second part looks at the relationship between democratic States and presents a set of reasons why democratic States behave more peacefully towards each other.
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Why might democracies be more peaceful in their relations with each other than with state that are not democracies
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Extract of sample "Why might democracies be more peaceful in their relations with each other than with state that are not democracies"

Download file to see previous pages A State is formed when a group of people organize themselves and decide to live together peacefully in society on the bases of common goals, identity, ancestry, language, culture, religion, ethnicity, history, customs, and territory.
Society may also be defined as a broad grouping of people living in a common area and having common traditions, institutions, activities, and interests (Laswell and Kaplan 1960). The family is the basic unit of society, and a family is formed when two or more human beings decide to live together to pursue common goals. From these commonly accepted definitions can be distinguished one characteristic that defines families, societies, and states: they share common interests. Social scientists have observed that, normally, sharing common interests help people to live together peacefully, because each one is different and unique in terms of capabilities. Through personal experience, people learn that they cannot do everything, so they have to depend on each other. In the process, they realize they cannot have everything, so they surrender some of the things they want to get others they want more or that would help them survive.
In society and among States, the balance of power between two or more agents is what ultimately decides their courses of action. The same holds true for nations and States, which is why until now, wars are fought and peace has been elusive. It has been only some sixty years since a bloody world war was fought, and less than two decades since the Cold War ended (Kennedy 1999). These show that more than common interests and balance of power, there is a third factor that governs the relationships among States: ideologies.
An ideology is "a set of ideas that are in some logical way related to one another" (Ranney 2001, p. 69-70). Macridis (1992) suggested four criteria to distinguish ideologies from ideas: comprehensiveness, pervasiveness, extensiveness, and intensiveness. Ideologies that are well-developed contain five basic components: values, vision of the ideal polity, conception of human nature, strategy of action, and political tactics.
Among the well-known ideologies (Ranney counted at least fifty-five, mostly ending in -ism), this discussion focuses on democracy, one of the most difficult to understand and define because many along the wide spectrum of political ideologies use it to support their aspirations, from left-wing Communists to right-wing Fascists, from liberals to conservatives.
What is Democracy
Ranney (2001, p. 95) defines democracy as a "form of government organized in accordance with the principles of popular sovereignty, political equality, popular consultation, and majority rule." This definition specifies that there are four principles of democracy (p. 96-98). The principle of popular sovereignty requires that "the ultimate power to make political decisions is vested in all the people rather than in some of them or one of them". The principle of political equality requires that "each adult citizen has the same opportunity as every other adult citizen to participate in the political decision-making process"; this is also known as the "one person, one vote" principle. The popular consultation principle has two requirements: first, there should be an institutional machinery through ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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