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Democratic Peace Theory; Its Strengths and Weaknesses - Term Paper Example

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This paper "Democratic Peace Theory" focuses on understanding DPT in detail, as well as focus on its advantages and disadvantages. The empirical association between peace and democracy has been challenged and debated since the inception of this theory to the current times…
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Democratic Peace Theory; Its Strengths and Weaknesses
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Download file to see previous pages Statistically, the likelihood of democracies going into war is considered to be very low (Art and Jervis, 2005: 256). This theory not only challenges the existence and validity of other systems of politics such as communism and fascism, but also challenges the prevailing international relations realist view, which emphasizes that common strategic interests and calculations of balance of power are what explain stability and peace which characterizes liberal democracies relations (Baylis, Smith and Owens, 2010: 424). It is no doubt that DPT is a fundamental aspect of understanding international relation and politics.  

The proponents of DPT have offered several explanations regarding the assertion that democracies rarely or never go to war with each other. Some of these explanations include: democracies often peaceful conflict resolution norms that they employ in external relations; democracies relate and trade heavily with other democracies and war will be very costly and of little or no gain at all; democracies are made up of democratic institutions like powerful legislations and competitive elections which may prohibit governments from going to war; and democratic leaders are answerable to voters for issues such as war and therefore they have an incentive to find alternatives (Art and Jervis, 2005: 257). Fundamentally, there are four main explanations for the democratic peace theory: structural, monadic, dyadic, and normative explanations.

The structural explanation holds that it is the representative government institutions that hold decision-makers and elected officials accountable to a wide electorate, which makes war to be a greatly unattractive option for the citizens and the government as well. Since the risks and costs of war will directly affect a considerable portion of the population, it is expected that voters will vote out the party or leader in the office if they initiate an unnecessary way.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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