## How Chaos Theory Works

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If you examine a bifurcation diagram closely, you begin to see interesting patterns. For example, start with a completed diagram, such as the one in the first picture.

Next, zoom in on the first doubling point. It looks like a rounded, sideways V. Now look at the smaller, sideways V's that come next in the series.

Now zoom in again, say, on that upper, smaller V.

Notice how this region of the diagram looks like the original. In other words, the large-scale structure of the figure is repeated multiple times. The doubling regions exhibit a quality known as self-similarity -- small regions resemble large ones. Even if you look in the chaotic areas of the diagram (which occur to the right), you can find this quality.

Self-similarity is a property of a class of geometric objects known as fractals . The Polish-born mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot coined the term in 1975, after the Latin word fractus , which means "broken" or "fragmented." He also worked out the basic math of the objects and described their properties. In addition to self-similarity, fractals also possess something known as fractal dimension , a measure of their complexity. The dimension is not an integer -- 1, 2, 3 -- but a fraction. For example, a fractal line has a dimension between 1 and 2.

The Koch snowflake -- named after the Swedish mathematician Helge van Koch -- stands as a classic example of a fractal. To derive the shape, van Koch established the following rules, first for a line:

• Divide a line segment into three equal parts
• Remove one-third of the segment out of the middle
• Replace the middle segment with two segments of the same length such that they all connect
• Repeat indefinitely on each line segment

The second picture shows what the first two iterations would look like:

If you start with an equilateral triangle and repeat the procedure, you end up with a snowflake that has a finite area and an infinite perimeter:

Today, fractals form part of the visual identity of chaos. As infinitely complex objects that are self-similar across all scales, they represent dynamical systems in all their glory. In fact Mandelbrot eventually proved that Lorenz's attractor was a fractal, as are most strange attractors. And they're not limited to the ruminations of scientists or the renderings of computers.

Fractals are found throughout nature -- in coastlines, seashells, rivers, clouds, snowflakes and tree bark. Before you take a field trip, however, be aware that self-similarity behaves a little differently in natural systems. In controlled mathematical environments, an object with self-similarity often displays an exact repetition of patterns at different magnifications. In nature, patterns obey statistical self-similarity -- they don't repeat exactly but parts of them show the same statistical properties at many different scales.

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## Despite tooling limitations, DAO optimists see new use cases for a democratic, token-based future

The adoption of decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, has skyrocketed in the past year, and participants believe this is just the beginning, claiming more use cases will form in the subsector.

DAOs are community-led groups that, in theory, allow participants to make operational decisions without centralized leadership. The groups are self-governing, typically raising capital through a token linked to the DAO. The tokens often provide members voting power on governance rules, and, through smart contracts, those votes affect and dictate what DAOs do.

Many DAOs focus on raising funds to support a certain cause or to purchase an item, whether that be buying a copy of the Constitution or a golf course, like ConstitutionDAO or LinksDAO have respectively aimed to do.

DAOs have even been compared to a new frontier for coordination , but some DAO participants say examples of these are just beginning.

“There will be a lot of evolution [for DAOs] as we start to fit the technology into human behavior,” Sarah Wood, head of operations at Upstream , said during a panel at the Avalanche Summit.

“I see a world where you can use a DAO for your book club, or whatever you want.”

Whether it be friends pooling money or taking action together, collective activity without centralized leadership is something everyone does regardless of whether they’re in crypto, Wood noted. The DAO ecosystem is potentially useful for any person or organization that wants to pool funds or make decisions together, but there needs to be better education so others can understand it, she added.

“I think we will see more use cases of people coming together to purchase an item, team or property,” Imran Khan, a core contributor of web3 accelerator Alliance , told TechCrunch. “This idea of social coordination as a way to bring groups together to purchase something is easiest to digest and conduct.”

Similar to the way AssangeDAO raised over \$53 million to bid on an NFT that would support its mission to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Khan expects more people to come together in the future to support projects or missions globally.

“Aside from [DAOs purchasing assets], there will be more experiments to get people across the globe to follow a mission or theme,” Khan said.

Right now, DAOs are the third phase of online coordination, he said. In the past, Web 1.0 platforms connected people through email or chat rooms on sites like Yahoo or AOL. Then, Web 2.0 emerged, and online groups formed through social networking sites like Facebook or Reddit, but those groups often grew on the websites, not off of them, Khan said.

“It was always about growing Facebook, not the group,” Khan said. “So imagine being able to give a token to the group and self-grow and form; that’s very powerful. We’re going to grow and be disconnected from platforms and self-form, and I expect DAOs to be as big as nation-states.”

## The Democratic Peace Theory

It has been argued that the absence of war between democratic states ‘comes as close as anything we have to an empirical law in international relations.’ [1] Although statistically the probability of war between any two states is considerably low, the absence of war among liberal democracies across a wide range of different historical, economic, and political factors suggests that there is a strong predisposition against the use of military violence between democratic states. [2] This democratic peace proposition not only challenges the validity of other political systems (i.e., fascism, communism, authoritarianism, totalitarianism), but also the prevailing realist account of international relations, which emphasises balance-of-power calculations and common strategic interests in order to explain the peace and stability that characterises relations between liberal democracies. [3] This essay argues, however, that the structural and normative arguments of the democratic peace theory together offer a far more logical and convincing explanation for this seeming anomaly. Furthermore, in line with Immanuel Kant’s theory of perpetual peace, I argue that the global spread of democracy will result in greater international peace if this occurs in parallel with the strengthening of economic interdependence and international organisations. The difficulty lies in the significant risk of instability inherent in the process of democratisation and the uncertainty that remains in an ‘incomplete Kantian world’ where the Hobbesian state of anarchy has not yet entirely disappeared from the international system.

Structural Explanation

Of the two main variants of the democratic peace theory, the structural account argues that it is the institutions of representative government, which hold elected officials and decision-makers accountable to a wide electorate, that make war a largely unattractive option for both the government and its citizens. [4] Because the costs and risks of war directly affect large segments of the population, it is expected that the average voter will throw the incumbent leader/party out of office if they initiate a losing or unnecessary war, thus, providing a clear institutional incentive for democratic leaders to anticipate such an electoral response before deciding to go to war. [5] This view does not assume that all citizens and elected representatives are liberal-minded, but simply that democratic structures that give citizens leverage over government decisions will make it less likely that a democratic leader will be able to initiate a war with another liberal democracy. [6] Thus, even with an illiberal leader in place, institutions such as free speech, political pluralism, and competitive elections will make it difficult for these leaders to convince or persuade the public to go to war. [7]

Normative Explanation

Proponents of the normative/cultural perspective, by contrast, argue that shared democratic and liberal values best explain the peace that exists between democratic states. [8] According to this view, democratic political culture encourages peaceful means of conflict resolution which are extended beyond the domestic political process to other democratic states because leaders in both countries hold a reasonable expectation that their counterparts will also be able to work out their differences peacefully. [9] Political ideology, therefore, determines how democracies distinguish allies from adversaries: democracies that represent and act in their citizens’ interests are treated with respect and consideration, whereas nondemocracies that use violence and oppression against their own people are regarded with mistrust and suspicion. [10] The importance of perception means that even if a particular state has ‘enlightened citizens and liberal-democratic institutions,’ unless other democratic states regard it as a genuine liberal democracy then the democratic peace proposition will not hold. [11] This argument can, therefore, explain a number of contentious cases: Americans did not consider England democratic in 1812 because England was a monarchy (War of 1812) and liberals in the Union did not consider the Confederacy a liberal democracy because of their use of slavery (American Civil War). [12]

Although some scholars regard the institutional and normative explanations as mutually exclusive, a much more intuitive and persuasive defence of the democratic peace theory emerges from combining these two viewpoints. Thus, the particular democratic practices that make war with other liberal democracies unlikely – free and fair elections, the rule of law, free press, a competitive party system – are driven by both ‘converging expectations about what conventional behaviour is likely to be’ (institutions) and ‘standards for what behaviour ought to be’ (norms). [13] These two explanations are complimentary and mutually reinforcing: cultural norms influences the creation and evolution of political institutions, and institutions help generate a more peaceful moral culture over time. [14]

Criticism of the Theory

A great deal of criticism of the democratic peace theory is focused on methodology. It is argued that the subjectivity of the specifics definitions adopted in such highly empirical studies is likely to significantly affect the results, making it difficult to validate the theory with certainty. [15] But this is largely undermined by a large number of studies that show democracies are highly unlikely to fight each other irrespective of the definition of democracy, the type of cases considered, or the dispute/war threshold. [16] Furthermore, there has already been a significant increase in the number of democratic-democratic dyads from less than 2% of all political dyads in the 19 th century, to 13% from 1900-1945, and 11% over the 1946-89 period without any major conflict. [17]

More substantial criticism comes from scholars whom, while not questioning the empirical findings, put forth contending arguments to explain the causal relationship between democracy and peace. Realists argue that it is not common polities but rather common interests that can best explain the low incidence of wars between democracies. [18] Beginning with the Cold War, they point out that democratic states have been far more likely to formally align themselves with other democracies than in the century before, suggesting that common strategic interests are a more important factor than domestic political processes. [19] Thus, the particular structure of the international political system is the key factor determining how states will act. [20] But the realist critique has been largely disproven by studies that have persuasively found that democracy, rather than alliance, prevents conflict and war; nonaligned democracies are less likely to fight each other than aligned nondemocracies; and two nondemocratic states that share common interests are more likely to fight each other than two democracies that do not share common interests. [21]

Of course, the point on which critics of the democratic peace theory are largely correct is that liberal democracies are not significantly less likely to go to war with other nondemocratic states. The available evidence largely disproves the monadic proposition that democratic states are less prone to use force regardless of the regime type of the opposing state. [22] This is likely due to the fact that democratic states still function in an ‘incompletely Kantian world’ where democracies have only recently gone from being a minority to the slight majority within the post-Cold War period. [23] Power politics, therefore, is still a necessary reality for most democratic states, particularly given the high levels of conflict between mixed dyads. [24] Nonetheless, there are a number of important advantages for democracies: they are more likely to enter low-level conflicts than full-scale wars; more willing to refrain from escalating disputes into an actual war; [25] and less likely to initiate the use of violence against another state. [26]

More importantly perhaps, democracies that do initiate war are more likely to win than nondemocratic states. [27] Because public support for war in democracies decreases considerably over time, there is a strong incentive for democratic leaders and decision-makers to not only choose to initiate only wars that they can win, but ones they can win quickly. [28] Although there are a number of notable exceptions, such as the U.S.-led wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam, this does suggest that the global spread of democracy would bring additional benefits beyond simply reducing the possibility of war between democratic states. This would include a greater number of low-level conflicts in proportion to full-scale wars, an increase in the number of states less likely to either initiate war or escalate non-violent confrontations into war, and a greater number of short, successful wars as opposed to long and protracted wars. Thus, even though an increase in the number of democratic states may not reduce the overall number of democratic-nondemocratic conflicts, this should not detract from these largely positive qualitative changes one would expect to occur.

A much more substantial argument comes from the dyadic proposition of the democratic peace theory: the observation that democracies create a separate and joint peace among other democratic states. [29] With an autocratic-democratic dyad, if the autocracy is replaced with a democracy it is argued that the likelihood of conflict will drop by 33 percent. [30] Moreover, beyond conflict and war, the evidence suggests that interstate rivalries among democracy dyads are also exceedingly rare and that a change in regime (from nondemocracy to democracy) will not only reduce the propensity for conflict or rivalry between any two states, but will actually accelerate this trend more rapidly over time. [31] It similarly follows then that coalitions of democratic states will also be better able to maintain mutual commitments and obligations because the institutional constraints of liberal democracy make it difficult to reverse any mutual commitments made through autonomous and accountable political institutions. [32] This predictability is not only absent for nondemocracies due to the lack of transparency and openness of their political systems, but actually negatively impacts their ability to win wars: the number of democratic partners increases the probability of winning a war by 62% whereas the number of nondemocratic partners decreases this likelihood by 44%. [33] What this suggests is that democracies should work to strengthen their formal alliances not only for normative or ideological reasons but for the expected efficiency gains this would provide and as a practical way of avoiding the collective action problems that frequently plague nondemocratic or mixed regime coalitions.

More positively, that there has not been any war between democracies despite a rapid growth in the number of democratic dyads within the international system (and thus an increase in the probability of conflict between democracies), [34] points to a significant trend: the incidence of conflict should gradually decline over time if more countries become democratic. [35] This is important not only because liberal democracies must still retain military force as a means to prevent or defend themselves from aggression in the current international system, but because democracies are more likely to receive challenges and threats to their security while this peace still remains ‘separate.’ [36]

Democratisation

There are two notable reasons, however, why the global spread of democracy may actually undermine prospects for international peace and they both have to do with the difficulties associated with the process of democratisation. First, a number of studies have shown that democratic transitions which occur when a country’s political institutions are particularly weak (often at the outset of the transition from autocracy to democracy), or when the elites within that country are threatened by the democratisation process itself (by having to respond to a wide and divergent range of newly-formulated interests), have a greater likelihood that this process will trigger aggressive nationalist sentiment and/or the outbreak of civil or inter-state war. [37] If political institutions are weak at the early stages of a transition, the rising demand for mass participation can provide an incentive for elites to adopt nationalist, ethno-religious, or populist policies, yet, crucially, before these elites can be held sufficiently accountable to the wider electorate. [38] A number of examples can be cited ranging from Napoleon III’s France, Wilhelmine Germany, and Taisho Japan to more recent cases such as Serbia under Slobodan Milosevic (the Yugoslav Wars), Peru and Ecuador in the late 1980s/early 1990s (Cenepa War 1995), Ethiopia’s 1998-2000 border war with Eritrea following the collapse of the Dergue dictatorship, and the 1999 India-Pakistan war after limited moves towards democratisation in both Pakistan and Kashmir. [39] This also extends to the observation that the vast majority of civil wars over the past century have occurred within transitional or mixed regimes, as opposed to either democratic or authoritarian regimes, which are more able to effectively contain repression by democratic or violent means, respectively. [40] Taking this into account, therefore, it is far more likely that a country will be able to successfully consolidate its transition if democratisation occurs according to a particular historical sequence: the emergence of a national identity, followed by the institutionalisation of the central government, and then mass electoral and political participation. [41]

The second problem relates to the first: most countries undergoing a transition to democracy will not necessarily be in a position to follow this particular sequence, yet even if they are it is not guaranteed that liberal democratic states will be able or willing to help. It is, therefore, important to be aware of the obvious limits of external military intervention. Even if liberal states adopt a cautious cost-benefit analysis in which they only intervene or assist states when they are certain that there is substantial and legitimate internal support present and when they have the consent of international bodies such as the UN (i.e., in Korea, Libya, Afghanistan), the act of helping overthrow an authoritarian regime may undermine those very liberal norms and values underpinning the democratic peace. [42] That the costs associated with such interventions are often quite considerable and can be difficult to justify domestically also means that even if there is a clear moral argument for helping authoritarian states democratise, political and economic considerations may still prevail. Similarly, although it is often states undergoing democratic transitions that initiate wars, their military weaknesses and political and social instability can also make them attractive targets for attack. [43] This was the case for East Timor following its independence vote in 1999 and Iran after its 1979 revolution when they were invaded by Indonesian and Iraqi forces respectively. [44] Thus, even though there is a very clear normative benefit to increasing the number of democracies within the international system, there is a real risk of instability and conflict if the transition does not establish the institutional preconditions for effective and accountable governance prior to mass political participation and elections, and if it takes place within an unstable regional/international environment. [45]

Wider Implications

Similarly, how liberal states conduct their foreign policy on an individual basis and collectively at the international level will largely determine whether the Kantian system can be successfully expanded. It is often argued by realists that the democratic decision-making process itself deprives policymakers of the necessary ‘coherence, long-range planning, flexibility and secrecy’ required to conduct an effective foreign policy. [46] According to this view, public opinion exerts an autonomous influence on the actions of political leaders that can distract democratic states from focusing on the most important imperatives: power and security. [47] But, as mentioned earlier, the very political institutions and patterns of behaviour that characterise liberal democracies also allow these states to best defend themselves and adopt a more cautious and effective approach to the use of force, thereby achieving the ‘best, securest, and safest outcomes for the most people.’ [48] Therefore, this not only challenges the key assumptions underlying realism – that normative goals preclude a clear and accurate analysis of international affairs – but the idea that relative military capabilities and the distribution of power among great powers alone should dictate foreign policy strategy. [49] Rather, democracies can best guarantee their own security by empowering their citizens and strengthening institutional checks and balances because these very factors have been shown to uphold the democratic peace and facilitate a more prudent foreign policy. [50]

At the international level, the recent increase in the number of democratic states provides a unique opportunity to reconstruct the norms and values underpinning the international system to more accurately reflect the peaceful interactions of democracies. [51] This would ideally mean strengthening the two other aspects of the Kantian system: international organisations and economic interdependence. Although the democratic peace represents the possibility of ‘uncoerced peace without central authority,’ [52] it is also the case that this liberal order has been best served when there has been a liberal state (i.e., the United States after World War II) that is both able and prepared to sustain the economic and political foundations of the wider liberal society beyond its own borders. [53] Strengthening a dense network of inter-governmental organisations (IGOs) that extend this responsibility to a larger number of democratic states and encourages greater cooperation among members through greater consultation and coordination, such as the WTO, IMF, World Bank, UN, and International Criminal Court, would arguably provide a stronger foundation for extending this perpetual peace outwards. [54] This also builds on studies that have shown the constraining effect of IGOs is greatest for politically relevant dyads – ‘contiguous pairs of states and pairs that include at least one major power’ – which also happen to account for the majority of interstate disputes and conflict. [55] Focusing efforts to more proactively include the largest nondemocracies (China, Vietnam, Russia, Iran) into this liberal international order, and to strengthen those elements of constitutional liberalism (rule of law, institutional checks on power, individual freedoms) lacking in illiberal democracies (Belarus, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Romania, Malaysia etc.) would arguably help consolidate the democratic peace most effectively. [56]

This is also the case for economic cooperation and interdependence. The observation that the likelihood of conflict between any two states with high levels of bilateral trade will be 33% lower than if those states only had an average level of economic interdependence suggests that democratic states will greatly benefit from upholding a liberal international economic system free of protectionism and mercantilist policies. [57] Because maintaining free and open trade relations rests on the assumption that market-based forces, rather than violence or coercion, will determine future economic transactions, the accompanying sense of mutual dependence will often act as a restraint on the use of military force. [58] Any accompanying increase in the quantity or quality of interstate communication is also likely to make it easier for democracies to understand the intentions and preferences of nondemocracies as well as their willingness to adhere to mutual agreements and commitments. [59]

The institutional and normative aspects of the democratic peace proposition, thus, provide a very clear, logical reason why the global spread of democracy will result in greater international peace: democratic political institutions make it difficult for governments to initiate war without the consent of the electorate, and the accompanying cultural norms mean democracies will favour a peaceful means of conflict resolution with one another. Of course, this would not necessarily reduce the overall incidence of war as the monadic proposition that democracies are less likely to use conflict regardless of regime type does not hold. But this would still produce a positive qualitative change: democracies are less likely to initiate wars, escalate nonviolent disputes into full-scale war, or engage in long and protracted military conflicts. More importantly, an increase in the number of democracies would extend the liberal peace to a greater number of countries, and increase the probability of winning war – arguably providing a strong normative and practical rationale for liberal states to conduct a more Wilsonian foreign policy. Recognising the inherent difficulties implicit with the democratisation process, however, greater effort should be made to encourage the consolidation of political institutions prior to mass political/electoral participation in transitional states. Strengthening international organisations that embody liberal norms and values, and encouraging economic interdependence with nondemocracies would also help mediate the strategic uncertainty and misperceptions that exist where the Kantian peace meets the Hobbesian state of anarchy.

Choi, Ajin. “The Power of Democratic Competition.” International Security 28, no. 1 (Summer 2003): 142-53.

Davenport, Christian, and David A. Armstrong II. “Democracy and the Violation of Human Rights: A Statistical Analysis from 1976 to 1996.” American Journal of Political Science 48, no. 3 (July 2004): 538-54.

Doyle, Michael W. “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs, Part 1.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 12, no. 3 (Summer 1983): 205-35.

______. “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs, Part 2.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 12, no. 4 (Autumn 1983): 323-53.

______. “Liberalism and World Politics.” The American Political Science Review 80, no. 4 (December 1986): 1151-69.

Elman, Miriam Fendius. “The Need for a Qualitative Test of the Democratic Peace Theory.” In Paths to Peace: Is Democracy the Answer? , edited by Miriam Fendius Elman, 1-57. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1997.

Farber, Henry S., and Joanne Gowa. “Polities and Peace.” International Security 20, no. 2 (Fall 1995): 123-46.

Gelpi, Christopher F., and Michael Griesdorf. “Winners or Losers? Democracies in International Crisis, 1918–94.” American Political Science Review 95, no. 3 (September 2001): 633-47.

Hensel, Paul R., Gary Goertz, and Paul F. Diehl. “The Democratic Peace and Rivalries.” The Journal of Politics 62, no. 4 (November 2000): 1173-88.

Jervis, Robert. “Theories of War in an Era of Leading-Power Peace.” The American Political Science Review 96, no. 1 (March 2002): 1-14.

Layne, Christopher. “Kant or Cant: The Myth of the Democratic Peace.” International Security 19, no. 2 (Autumn 1994): 5-49.

Levy, Jack S. “Domestic Politics and War.” The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 18, no. 4 (Spring 1988): 653-73.

Mansfield, Edward D., and Jack Snyder. Electing To Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go To War . Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2005.

Maoz, Zeev. “The Controversy over the Democratic Peace: Rearguard Action or Cracks in the Wall?” International Security 22, no. 1 (Summer 1997): 162-98.

Mearsheimer, John J. “Back to the Future: Instability in Europe after the Cold War.” International Security 15, no. 1 (Summer 1990): 5-56.

Owen, John M. “How Liberalism Produces Democratic Peace.” International Security 19, no. 2 (Autumn 1994): 87-125.

Ray, James Lee. “Wars Between Democracies: Rare, or Nonexistent?” International Interactions 18, no. 3 (1993): 251-76.

______. Democracy and International Conflict: An Evaluation of the Democratic Peace Proposition . Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1995.

Reiter, Dan, and Allan C. Stam. Democracies at War . Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2002.

Russett, Bruce. “Can A Democratic Peace Be Built?” International Interactions 18, no. 3 (1993): 277-82.

______. Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World . Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1993.

______. “Democracy, War and Expansion through Historical Lenses.” European Journal of International Relations 15, no. 9 (2009): 9-36.

Russett, Bruce, and John R. Oneal. Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations . New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001.

Spiro, David E. “The Insignificance of the Liberal Peace.” International Security 19, no. 2 (Autumn 1994): 50-86.

Zakaria, Fareed. “The Rise of Illiberal Democracy.” Foreign Affairs 76, no. 6 (November/December 1997): 22-43.

[1] Jack S. Levy, “Domestic Politics and War,” The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 18, no. 4 (Spring 1988): 661-62.

[2] Michael W. Doyle, “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs, Part 1,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 12, no. 3 (Summer 1983): 213-15, 17; Christopher F. Gelpi and Michael Griesdorf, “Winners or Losers? Democracies in International Crisis, 1918–94,” American Political Science Review 95, no. 3 (September 2001): 633-34; Bruce Russett, “Democracy, War and Expansion through Historical Lenses,” European Journal of International Relations 15, no. 9 (2009): 11-12.

[3] Michael W. Doyle, “Liberalism and World Politics,” The American Political Science Review 80, no. 4 (December 1986): 1156-57.

[4] Russett, “Democracy, War and Expansion through Historical Lenses,” 21-22; Bruce Russett, Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1993), 38-40.

[5] Russett, “Democracy, War and Expansion through Historical Lenses,” 21-22.

[6] John M. Owen, “How Liberalism Produces Democratic Peace,” International Security 19, no. 2 (Autumn 1994): 123-24; Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder, Electing To Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go To War (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2005), 23-27.

[7] Owen, “How Liberalism Produces Democratic Peace,” 123-24.

[8] Miriam Fendius Elman, “The Need for a Qualitative Test of the Democratic Peace Theory,” in Paths to Peace: Is Democracy the Answer? , ed. Miriam Fendius Elman (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1997), 11-12.

[10] Owen, “How Liberalism Produces Democratic Peace,” 89-90.

[11] Ibid.: 96-97.

[13] Mansfield and Snyder, Electing To Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go To War , 29-30.

[14] Bruce Russett and John R. Oneal, Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001), 53; James Lee Ray, Democracy and International Conflict: An Evaluation of the Democratic Peace Proposition (Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1995), 33-37.

[15] David E. Spiro, “The Insignificance of the Liberal Peace,” International Security 19, no. 2 (Autumn 1994): 55, 62; James Lee Ray, “Wars Between Democracies: Rare, or Nonexistent?,” International Interactions 18, no. 3 (1993): 252-54.

[16] Zeev Maoz, “The Controversy over the Democratic Peace: Rearguard Action or Cracks in the Wall?,” International Security 22, no. 1 (Summer 1997): 175-77; Ray, “Wars Between Democracies: Rare, or Nonexistent?,” 269-70.

[17] Maoz, “The Controversy over the Democratic Peace: Rearguard Action or Cracks in the Wall?,” 190.

[18] Henry S. Farber and Joanne Gowa, “Polities and Peace,” International Security 20, no. 2 (Fall 1995): 145-46.

[20] Christopher Layne, “Kant or Cant: The Myth of the Democratic Peace,” International Security 19, no. 2 (Autumn 1994): 10-12; John J. Mearsheimer, “Back to the Future: Instability in Europe after the Cold War,” International Security 15, no. 1 (Summer 1990): 12-13.

[21] Maoz, “The Controversy over the Democratic Peace: Rearguard Action or Cracks in the Wall?,” 175-77; Gelpi and Griesdorf, “Winners or Losers? Democracies in International Crisis, 1918–94,” 45-46.

[22] Elman, “The Need for a Qualitative Test of the Democratic Peace Theory,” 14-18; Layne, “Kant or Cant: The Myth of the Democratic Peace,” 12-13.

[23] Russett, “Democracy, War and Expansion through Historical Lenses,” 13-14.

[25] Democratic states are, however, more willing to enter into non-violent confrontations even if they generally refrain from escalating these disputes into war.

[26] Russett, “Democracy, War and Expansion through Historical Lenses,” 14.

[27] Dan Reiter and Allan C. Stam, Democracies at War (Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2002), 10-11.

[28] Ibid., 178-79.

[29] Elman, “The Need for a Qualitative Test of the Democratic Peace Theory,” 10-14.

[30] Russett and Oneal, Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations , 114-16.

[31] Paul R. Hensel, Gary Goertz, and Paul F. Diehl, “The Democratic Peace and Rivalries,” The Journal of Politics 62, no. 4 (November 2000): 1187.

[32] Ajin Choi, “The Power of Democratic Competition,” International Security 28, no. 1 (Summer 2003): 144-45.

[33] Ibid.: 146-49. Ajin Choi elaborates that, ‘According to the results of the marginal impact analysis presented in Table 1, the number of democratic partners variable increases the probability of winning a war by 62 percentage points as this variable moves from its minimum to maximum value and all other variables are set at their mean or modal values. The number of nondemocratic partners variable, on the other hand, decreases the probability of winning by 44 percentage points under the same conditions.’

[34] Maoz, “The Controversy over the Democratic Peace: Rearguard Action or Cracks in the Wall?,” 190.

[35] Russett and Oneal, Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations , 114-16, 22-24.

[36] Gelpi and Griesdorf, “Winners or Losers? Democracies in International Crisis, 1918–94,” 645-46; Russett and Oneal, Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations , 302. It is argued that the perceived reluctance of liberal democracies to use force may actually lead to a greater number of military challenges in spite of their military capabilities because the openness of their political system paradoxically only makes their bargaining tactics credible to opponents when they appear willing to use force.

[37] Christian Davenport and David A. Armstrong II, “Democracy and the Violation of Human Rights: A Statistical Analysis from 1976 to 1996,” American Journal of Political Science 48, no. 3 (July 2004): 551-53; Mansfield and Snyder, Electing To Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go To War , 265-66.

[38] Mansfield and Snyder, Electing To Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go To War , 39-40.

[39] Fareed Zakaria, “The Rise of Illiberal Democracy,” Foreign Affairs 76, no. 6 (November/December 1997): 36-38; Mansfield and Snyder, Electing To Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go To War , 4-6.

[40] Russett and Oneal, Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations , 70-71.

[41] Mansfield and Snyder, Electing To Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go To War , 16-19.

[42] Bruce Russett, “Can A Democratic Peace Be Built?,” International Interactions 18, no. 3 (1993): 279-80.

[43] Mansfield and Snyder, Electing To Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go To War , 33-34.

[44] Ibid., 4-6, 13-14.

[45] Russett and Oneal, Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations , 116-22; Mansfield and Snyder, Electing To Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go To War , 273-74.

[46] Levy, “Domestic Politics and War,” 659-61.

[47] Reiter and Stam, Democracies at War , 195-97.

[49] Layne, “Kant or Cant: The Myth of the Democratic Peace,” 49; Reiter and Stam, Democracies at War , 195-97.

[50] Reiter and Stam, Democracies at War , 202-05; Choi, “The Power of Democratic Competition,” 153.

[51] Russett, “Can A Democratic Peace Be Built?,” 280-81; Ray, Democracy and International Conflict: An Evaluation of the Democratic Peace Proposition , 204-06.

[52] Robert Jervis, “Theories of War in an Era of Leading-Power Peace,” The American Political Science Review 96, no. 1 (March 2002): 11.

[53] Doyle, “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs, Part 1,” 232-33.

[54] Russett and Oneal, Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations , 280-81; Doyle, “Liberalism and World Politics,” 1157-58.

[55] Russett and Oneal, Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations , 280-81.

[56] Zakaria, “The Rise of Illiberal Democracy,” 25-26.

[57] Michael W. Doyle, “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs, Part 2,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 12, no. 4 (Autumn 1983): 347-48; Russett and Oneal, Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations , 277-80.

[58] Doyle, “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs, Part 1,” 231.

[59] Choi, “The Power of Democratic Competition,” 144-45.

Written by: Kevin Placek Written at: University of Melbourne Written for: Dr. David Mickler Date written: November 2011

## Further Reading on E-International Relations

• Harnessing Alterity to Address the Obstacles of the Democratic Peace Theory
• Kant, Doyle, and the Democratic Peace Thesis: A Postcolonial Critique
• The Implicit Imperialism of Democratic Peace
• A Pareto Optimal Peace: How the Dayton Peace Agreement Struck a Unique Balance
• Neopatrimonialism and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria
• Hungary’s Democratic Backsliding as a Threat to EU Normative Power

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## What Is the Democratic Peace Theory? Definition and Examples

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The Democratic Peace Theory states that countries with liberal democratic forms of government are less likely to go to war with one another than those with other forms of government. Proponents of the theory draw on the writings of German philosopher Immanuel Kant and, more recently, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson , who in his 1917 World War I message to Congress stated that “The world must be made safe for democracy.” Critics argue that the simple quality of being democratic in nature may not be the main reason for the historic tendency of peace between democracies.

## Key Takeaways

• The Democratic Peace Theory holds that democratic countries are less likely to go to war with one another than non-democratic countries.
• The theory evolved from the writings of German philosopher Immanuel Kant and the adoption of the 1832 Monroe Doctrine by the United States.
• The theory is based on the fact that declaring war in democratic countries requires citizen support and legislative approval.
• Critics of the theory argue that merely being democratic may not be the primary reason for peace between democracies.

## Democratic Peace Theory Definition

Dependent on the ideologies of liberalism , such as civil liberties and political freedom, the Democratic Peace Theory holds that democracies are hesitant to go to war with other democratic countries. Proponents cite several reasons for the tendency of democratic states to maintain peace, including:

• The citizens of democracies usually have some say over legislative decisions to declare war.
• In democracies, the voting public holds their elected leaders responsible for human and financial war losses.
• When held publicly accountable, government leaders are likely to create diplomatic institutions for resolving international tensions.
• Democracies rarely view countries with similar policies and form of government as hostile.
• Usually possessing more wealth that other states, democracies avoid war to preserve their resources.

The Democratic Peace Theory was first articulated by German philosopher Immanuel Kant in his 1795 essay entitled “ Perpetual Peace .” In this work, Kant argues that nations with constitutional republic governments are less likely to go to war because doing so requires the consent of the people—who would actually be fighting the war. While the kings and queens of monarchies can unilaterally declare war with little regard for their subjects’ safety, governments chosen by the people take the decision more seriously.

The United States first promoted the concepts of the Democratic Peace Theory in 1832 by adopting the Monroe Doctrine . In this historic piece of international policy, the U.S. affirmed that it would not tolerate any attempt by European monarchies to colonize any democratic nation in North or South America.

The democratic peace theory does not claim that democratic countries are generally more peaceful than nondemocratic countries. However, the theory’s claim that democratic countries rarely fight each other is widely regarded as true by international relations experts and further supported by history.

Kant’s “Perpetual Peace” essay remained largely unnoticed until the mid-1980s when the American international-relations scholar Michael Doyle cited it in arguing that the “zone of peace” envisioned by Kant had gradually become reality. After the Cold War, which pitted democratic states against communist states, the democratic peace theory became one of the most studied topics of research in international relations. This research has shown that while wars between non-democracies, or between democracies and non-democracies have been common, wars between democracies have been extremely rare.

Interest in the democratic peace theory has not been limited to the halls of academia. During the 1990s, U.S. President Bill Clinton featured it in many aspects of his administration’s foreign policy of spreading democracy throughout the world. Clinton’s foreign policy asserted that if the formerly autocratic nations of Eastern Europe and the collapsed Soviet Union converted to democracy, the United States and its allies in Europe would no longer need to restrain those countries militarily because democracies do not attack each other.

The democratic peace theory similarly influenced U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. U.S. policymakers believed that a zone of democracy equaled a zone of peace and security that supported President George W. Bush’s strategy of using military force to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s ruthless dictatorship in Iraq. Bush’s administration hoped that the democratization of Iraq would eventually result in the spread of democracy throughout the Middle East.

## Democracies and War in the 1900s

Perhaps the strongest evidence supporting the Democratic Peace Theory is the fact that there were no wars between democracies during the 20th century.

As the century began, the recently ended Spanish-American War had seen the United States defeat the monarchy of Spain in a struggle for control of the Spanish colony of Cuba.

In World War I , the U.S. allied with the democratic European empires to defeat the authoritarian and fascist empires of Germany, Austro-Hungary, Turkey, and their allies. This led to World War II and eventually the Cold War of the 1970s, during which the U.S. led a coalition of democratic nations in resisting the spread of authoritarian Soviet communism .

Most recently, in the Gulf War (1990-91), the Iraq War (2003-2011), and the ongoing war in Afghanistan , the United States, along with various democratic nations fought to counter international terrorism by radical jihadist factions of authoritarian Islamist governments. Indeed, after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks , the George W. Bush administration based its use military force to topple Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship in Iraq on the belief that it would bring democracy—thus peace—to the Middle East.

While the claim that democracies rarely fight each other has been widely accepted, there is less agreement on why this so-called democratic peace exists.

Some critics have argued that it was actually the Industrial Revolution that led to peace during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The resulting prosperity and economic stability made all of the newly modernized countries—democratic and nondemocratic—much less belligerent toward each other than in preindustrial times. Several factors arising from modernization may have generated a greater aversion to war among industrialized nations than democracy alone. Such factors included higher standards of living, less poverty, full employment, more leisure time, and the spread of consumerism. Modernized countries simply no longer felt the need to dominate each other in order to survive.

Democratic Peace Theory has also been criticized for failing to prove a cause-and-effect relationship between wars and types of government and the ease with which definitions of “democracy” and “war” can be manipulated to prove a non-existent trend. While its authors included very small, even bloodless wars between new and questionable democracies, one 2002 study contends that as many wars have been fought between democracies as might be statistically expected between non-democracies.

Other critics argue that throughout history, it has been the evolution of power, more than democracy or its absence that has determined peace or war. Specifically, they suggest that the effect called “liberal democratic peace” is really due to “realist” factors including military and economic alliances between democratic governments.

## Sources and Further Reference

• Owen, J. M.  “ How Liberalism Produces Democratic Peace .” International Security (1994).
• Schwartz, Thomas and Skinner, Kiron K. (2002) “ The Myth of the Democratic Peace .” Foreign Policy Research Institute.
• Gat, Azar (2006). “ The Democratic Peace Theory Reframed: The Impact of Modernity .” Cambridge University Press.
• Pollard, Sidney (1981). “ Peaceful Conquest: The Industrialization of Europe, 1760–1970 .” Oxford University Press.
• Democracy Promotion as Foreign Policy
• U.S. Policy in the Middle East: 1945 to 2008
• American Manifest Destiny and Modern Foreign Policy
• Understanding the Bush Doctrine
• Impacts of the Iraq War on the Middle East
• Is Iraq a Democracy?
• Why Did the United States Go to War with Iraq?
• The Cold War in Europe
• What Is a Coalition Government?
• The Evolution of American Isolationism
• Origins of the Cold War in Europe
• Cold War Glossary
• U.S. Foreign Policy 101
• Did Oil Drive the US Invasion of Iraq?
• Ostpolitik: West Germany Talks to the East
• Iraq | Facts and History

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## DEMOCRATIC PEACE THEORY

from USQ Law Society Law Review Winter Edition 2021

by USQLS Law Review

## CHELSEA KEIRSNOWSKI

The democratic peace theory stems from basic principles devised by philosopher Immanuel Kant in 1795 that were later researched substantially in the 1960s.1 The theory proposes that democracies, especially those older than 3 years, are unlikely to be involved in wars against each other.2 It has been recognised that longevity of governance from a political party within a state’s regime further decreases the likelihood of interstate conflict.3 This essay will analyse the democratic peace theory and examine how a current sway toward authoritarianism in world politics is likely to bring increased global conflict. The heightened risk of war is linked to the erosion of stabilising democratic frameworks which inhibit belligerence and the disruption caused by changes in regimes and policy. This is intensified by instability caused by COVID19 and the rejection of mainstream politics and interstate agreements that previously ensured peace through interdependence.

A failure to ensure legitimacy and support through sufficient performance in authoritarian states, led to approximately 30 countries transitioning to democracy between 1974 and 1990, including the collapse of the Soviet Union and its occupied territories.4 Political scientist, Samuel P. Huntington, predicted this proliferation of democracy would not lead to world peace as each civilisation has their own culture that the population will choose to hold on to, rather than abandon for a different culture, such as by adopting a new way of living by becoming a democracy.5 He predicted these differences, such as the pressure initiated by the West on democratisation, and the retention by other civilisations of their culture, systems of rule and religion, will lead to conflict. Following Huntington’s hypothesis, circa 2007 began the rise of authoritarianism in South America and Africa, and growing support for populism in Eastern Europe. Reasons for this vary for each country but include a lack of repercussion without global governance, isolationism, and political and social instability.6 Recently, COVID-19 has accelerated the rise of authoritarianism. In some instances, there has been a genuine attempt to protect public health through decisive action and heightened regulations, however, some governments have profited from an opportunistic acquisition of power while global attention was preoccupied. The Democracy Index for 2020 showed democracy was in its worst state since the Index was developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit in 2006.7 A developing

1 Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (S. Sonnenschein, 1795); Dean Babst, ‘Elective Governments—A Force For Peace’ (1964) 3(1) The Wisconsin Sociologist 9, 9. 2 Spencer Weart, Never at War (Yale University Press, 1998). 3 Anais Marin, ‘Dictatorial peace? Comparing the conflict-proneness of authoritarian regimes in post-Soviet Eurasia: a research agenda’ (2015) 59 Research Gate 1, 18; Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder, ‘Democratic Transitions, Institutional Strength, and War’ (2002) 56(2) International Organization 297. 4 Samuel Huntington, ‘Democracy’s Third Wave’ (1991) 2(2) Journal of Democracy 12, 12. 5 Samuel Huntington, ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’ (1993) 72(3) Foreign Affairs 22, 40-1. 6 Ivan Krastev, ‘Eastern Europe’s Illiberal Revolution’, Foreign Affairs (Article, May/June 2018) <https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/hungary/2018-04-16/eastern-europes-illiberal-revolution>. 7 The Economist Intelligence Unit, ‘Global democracy has another bad year’, The Economist (Web Page, 22 January 2020) <https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/01/22/global-democracy-has-another-badyear>.

factor in the rise of authoritarianism is marked by the increase in power of China and Russia and the consequent rise in tensions with the US.

Whilst authoritarianism is not inherently belligerent, the frameworks of democratic institutions promote perpetual peace, while elements of authoritarianism often lead to the contrary, as indicated by the democratic peace theory. This essay will not use evidence based on whether democracies or authoritarian states initiate conflict because the initiating causes of conflict are often multifaceted, and each side tends to blame the other.8 Rather, this essay will engage the debate on the faults of democracies or authoritarian states which initiate conflict. Research concerning the correlation between democracy and lack of war uses different definitions of what constitutes as a democracy, war or armed conflict.9 Some researchers argue that many studies use restricting definitions, resulting in small sample sizes that ignore outliers that may refute the democratic peace theory.10 Despite this, most research shows that many of these outliers are states transitioning to democracy and that there are no wars between mature liberal democracies.11 A further study also supports that democratic states are also less likely to be involved in smaller militarised interstate disputes.12 Democratic peace is attributed to: requiring broad political support in order to mobilise for war; the ensured accountability of governments for their public decisions leading to increased hesitation to initiate war; the use of diplomatic efforts to resolve tensions peacefully; typically possessing wealth and resources that states do not wish to endanger; as well as the tendency to form alliances, collaborate, negotiate and their commercial interdependence.13 Further, democratic states see the same impediments in other democracies and thus can expect a peaceful relationship. Aversion to force is not so apparent in authoritarian foreign policies and this prompts democracies to act with more aggressive policies to protect their liberal democratic policies from being exploited.14 The repressive policies of authoritarian states can create instability through producing violent extremism and refugees attempting to flee.15 Authoritarian states have higher frequency internal systematic

8 Nils Gleditsch, Lene Christiansen and Håvard Hegre 2004, ‘Democratic Jihad? Military Intervention and Democracy’, PRIO (Conference Paper, 20 March 2004) <https://www.prio.org/Publications/Publication/?x=525>. 9 Rudolph Rummel, Power Kills: Democracy as a Method of Nonviolence (Transaction Publishers, 1997); James Ray, ‘A Lakatosian View of the Democratic Peace Research Program’ in Colin Elam and Miriam Elman (eds), Progress in International Relations Theory (MIT Press, 2003) 1; Spencer Weart, Never at War (Yale University Press, 1998). 10 James Ray, ‘Does Democracy Cause Peace?’ (1998) 1 Annual Review of Political Science 27, 89. 11 Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder, ‘Democratic Transitions, Institutional Strength, and War’ (2002) 56(2) International Organization 297, 297; Rudolph Rummel, Power Kills: Democracy as a Method of Nonviolence (Transaction Publishers, 1997). 12 James Ray, ‘A Lakatosian View of the Democratic Peace Research Program’ in Colin Elam and Miriam Elman (eds), Progress in International Relations Theory (MIT Press, 2003) 1. 13 Christopher Gelpi and Michael Griesdorf, ‘Winners or Losers? Democracies in International Crisis, 1918–94’ (2001) 95(3) American Political Science Review 633; James Ray, ‘A Lakatosian View of the Democratic Peace Research Program’ in Colin Elam and Miriam Elman (eds), Progress in International Relations Theory (MIT Press, 2003) 1; David Leblang and Steve Chan, ‘Explaining Wars Fought by Established Democracies: Do Institutional Constraints Matter?’ (2003) 56(4) Political Research Quarterly 385. 14 Christopher Gelpi and Michael Griesdorf, ‘Winners or Losers? Democracies in International Crisis, 1918–94’ (2001) 95(3) American Political Science Review 633. 15 Jacob Carozza 2017, ‘Democracy is Retreating, Authoritarianism is Rising’, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (Article, Fall/Winter 2017/8) <https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/democracyretreating-authoritarianism-rising>.

violence such as terrorism, genocide, politicide and democide.16 Whilst the amount of internal violence has not been proven to correlate with having a predisposition to intensify militarised interstate disputes, authoritarian states do not face the same institutionalised constraints that impede involvement in conflict.17 Therefore, the democratic peace theory can be understood through an analysis of the mechanics of democratic systems that promote peace.

Causes of war can be attributed to a multitude of factors, the lack of constitutional constraints in authoritarian regimes being one of them, however instability and regime changes also play a significant role. Whilst evidence shows democracies do not fight each other, there is not widespread support for monadic democratic peace, which claims democracies are less belligerent in general.18 No pair of personalist dictators or military regimes have been at war with each other since WWII either, alluding to the possibility of an illiberal peace.19 Studies of both the democratic peace and illiberal peace phenomenon have found evidence that both mature democracies and mature authoritarian states are non-belligerent, whilst states in transition are more likely to be involved in military conflict.20 This indicates that stability and length of a regime may be as important as democracy for contributing to regional and world peace. Political change, towards both democracy or authoritarianism, increases the likelihood of civil war. Thus, the current rise of authoritarianism may lead to conflict due to the political instability caused by the changing of regimes. Interestingly, transitions to democracy have been shown to cause more conflict than democratic backsliding.21 Government longevity is an indicator of stability as well as numerous other factors such as; lack of violence, the progress of the state’s human development, political legitimacy, and regime responsiveness in overcoming problems.22 Despite government longevity being one of many determining factors for peace, the quintessence of this being Italy changing its government sixty times in sixty years, there is evidence that transitions substantially contribute to instability.23 A study of

16 Alberto Abadie, ‘Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism’ (2004) NBER Working Paper Series 1; Barbara Harff, ‘No Lessons Learned from the Holocaust? Assessing Risks of Genocide and Political Mass Murder since 1955’ (2003) 97(1) American Political Science Review 57; Rudolph Rummel, Power Kills: Democracy as a Method of Nonviolence (Transaction Publishers, 1997). 17 Anais Marin, ‘Dictatorial peace? Comparing the conflict-proneness of authoritarian regimes in post-Soviet Eurasia: a research agenda’ (2015) 59 Research Gate 1, 21; Bruce Russett and John Oneal, Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations (W.W Norton & Company, 2001). 18 Harald Müller and Jonas Wolff, ‘Dyadic Democratic Peace Strikes Back’, Academia (Conference Paper, 9 August 2004) <https://www.academia.edu/2486355/Dyadic_Democratic_Peace_Strikes_Back_Reconstructing_the_Social_Co nstructivist_Approach_After_the_Monadic_Renaissance>. 19 Mark Peceny, Caroline Beer and Shannon Sanchez-Terry, ‘Dictatorial Peace?’ (2002) 96(1) American Political Science Review 15. 20 Anais Marin, ‘Dictorial peace? Comparing the conflict-proneness of authoritarian regimes in post-Soviet Eurasia: a research agenda’ (2015) 59 Research Gate 1, 18; Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder, ‘Democratic Transitions, Institutional Strength, and War’ (2002) 56(2) International Organization 297. 21 Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder, ‘Democratic Transitions, Institutional Strength, and War’ (2002) 56(2) International Organization 297, 297. 22 Cecilia Sottilotta, ‘Political Stability in Authoritarian Regimes: Lessons from the Arab Uprisings’ (2013) (1301) Instituto Affari Internazionali 1, 3-4. 23 Cecilia Sottilotta, ‘Political Stability in Authoritarian Regimes: Lessons from the Arab Uprisings’ (2013) (1301) Instituto Affari Internazionali 1, 3; Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder, ‘Democratic Transitions, Institutional Strength, and War’ (2002) 56(2) International Organization 297, 297; Anais Marin, ‘Dictorial peace? Comparing the conflict-proneness of authoritarian regimes in post-Soviet Eurasia: a research agenda’ (2015) 59 Research Gate 1, 18.

authoritarian regimes in post-Soviet Eurasia showed that consolidated authoritarian regimes were the most pacific, as seen with Belarus, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Tajikstan.24 Uzbekistan was the only exception as it more commonly initiated interstate conflict and fortified its borders during disputes with the Taleban.25 The states that attempted liberal reforms over the past 20 years; being Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan, were found to be more hawkish.26 Therefore, once the states transitioning to authoritarianism are consolidated, there may be peace, but until then, conflict is likely. This has been supported by numerous other studies.27 A study by Azar Gat, Professor of National Security at Tel Aviv University, which investigated transitions to democracy, found that the more prompt and untroubled the conversion was, the more peaceable the resulting nation would be.28 This supports the hypothesis that transitions and instability breed war. An example of this is the Thucydides Trap theory which proposes that when one state is at risk of being overtaken as global hegemon, is a likely result.29 Both the Thucydides Trap and the democratic peace theory warn of likely conflict due to the rising power of China threatening the position of the US as the current hegemon. This would be a significant sway in the weight of authoritarian global power which would likely be a destabilising transition.

The increasing significance of the authoritarian model will likely beget more conflict as this is already becoming apparent in global affairs. The decline in the Democracy Index since 2006 has been largely driven by the rise of authoritarianism in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa coupled with deterioration of democracy in Eastern Europe.30 Disenchantment with mainstream politics, Euroscepticism, xenophobia, disapproval of immigrants and a general distrust of a corrupt ‘elite’ has led to the rise of populism in Eastern Europe.31 Populism as a political approach appeals to citizens by proposing to give a voice to the people who feel they have been silenced by an upper class.32 Populism may initially appear democratic, and it may not lead to authoritarianism in all circumstances. However, the recent occurrences in Venezuela illuminate the danger populism poses. Venezuelan populist leader, Hugo Chavez, won the 1998 elections and subsequently manipulated the country’s ‘democracy’ to place the popular will of ‘ordinary’ citizens against whoever opposed with the changes, who are consequently branded as an evil ‘elite’. Mr Chavez used corrupt judges as a reason to grant himself the power to control the judiciary, thus overstepping the separation of powers that ensured he did not possess

24 Anais Marin, ‘Dictorial peace? Comparing the conflict-proneness of authoritarian regimes in post-Soviet Eurasia: a research agenda’ (2015) 59 Research Gate 1, 21. 25 Ibid 14. 26 Ibid 21. 27 Ursula Daxecker, ‘Perilous Polities? An Assessment of the Democratization-Conflict Linkage’ (2007) 13(4) European Journal of International Relations 527; Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder, ‘Democratic Transitions, Institutional Strength, and War’ (2002) 56(2) International Organization 297. 28 Azar Gat, ‘The Democratic Peace Theory Reframed: The Impact of Modernity’ (2005) 58(1) World Politics 73, 79-80. 29 Graham Allison, ‘The Thucydides Trap’, FP (Article, 9 June 2017) <https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/09/the-thucydides-trap/>. 30 The Economist Intelligence Unit, ‘Global democracy has another bad year’, The Economist (Web Page, 22 January 2020) <https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/01/22/global-democracy-has-another-badyear>. 31 Jacques Rupnik, ‘Is East-Central Europe Backsliding? From Democratic Fatigue to Populist Backlash’ (2007) 18(4) Journal of Democracy 17, 18-22. 32 Rogers Brubaker, ‘Why Populism?’ (2017) 46(5) Theory & Society 357, 359.

overarching supremacy.33 Populism can guise consolidating power as giving power to the people, which current Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, continued to do until democracy was eliminated.34 Similarly, liberal checks and balances have been undermined in Hungary and Poland by limiting the power of the judiciary; measures which are inconsistent with EU standards on judicial independence.35 Polish fears of Russian invasion led to the election of the populist Law and Justice party whose authoritarian policies appeared necessary to make firm and decisive measures.36 In Hungary, the government, led by Viktor Orban, controls the media so extensively that opposition parties are unable to campaign sufficiently, which is exacerbated by pro-democracy organisations being restricted by harsh regulations quelling their operation.37 The media is utilised by the government to broadcast propaganda that presents Muslim refugees as a severe threat to society and culture in order to make Orban’s authoritarian measures appear necessary to safeguard the community. In the same vein, Orban has used COVID-19 as an excuse to tighten his grip on the media and in March granted himself the power to rule by decree indefinitely. This power was subsequently reduced in June to limit Orban’s ability to alter laws on fundamental rights. However, this still leaves Hungary as more authoritarian than prior to the pandemic.38 In 2018 the European Parliament admonished Orban’s government as a “systemic threat” to the rule of law and democracy and gave a formal warning under Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union.39 Whilst democracy is still more intact in the Czech Republic and Romania, there are increasing concerns these states are following a similar path to authoritarianism, as they also have put in place measures which impinge on judicial independence.40 Tear gas and water cannons were used on peaceful protesters against government corruption in Romania in 2018, highlighting the deteriorating state of their democracy.41 As democracy fails in Eastern Europe, so do the institutionalised frameworks that operate to maintain peace and security. By consolidating power, leaders grant themselves the ability to make decisions, such as potentially going to war, without the decision being reviewed. Whilst COVID-19 may have created extraordinary circumstances that require

33 Allan Brewer-Carias, Dismantling Democracy in Venezuela: The Chavez Authoritarian Experiment (Cambridge University Press, 2010) 24. 34 Adriana Boersner, ‘The Path Toward Authoritarianism in Venezuela’ (2019) Research Gate 1. 35 Zoll Fryderyk and Leah Wortham, ‘Judicial Independence and Accountability: Withstanding Political Stress in Poland’ (2019) 42(3) Fordham International Law Journal 875, 904. 36 Joanna Fomina and Jacek Kucharczyk, ‘The Specter Haunting Europe: Populism and Protest in Poland’ (2016) 27(4) Journal of Democracy 58, 60. 37 Peter Bajomi-Lazar, ‘The Party Colonisation of the Media: The Case of Hungary’ (2012) 27(1) East European Politics and Societies 69, 70. 38 Valerie Hopkins and Ben Hall, ‘Chill Descends Upon Hungary After Viktor Orban’s Power-Grab’, The Financial Times (Article, 19 March 2020) <https://www.ft.com/content/27243d36-bf9d-411f-89ed1d118ae639f8>; Lili Bayer, ‘Hungary Replaces Rule by Decree with State of Medical Crisis’, Politico, (Article 18 June 2020) <https://www.politico.eu/article/hungary-replaces-rule-by-decree-controversial-state-of-medicalcrisis/>. 39 Valentina Pop and Drew Hinshaw, ‘European Parliament Votes to Censor Hungary’, The Wall Street Journal (Article, 12 September 2018) <https://www.wsj.com/articles/eu-triggers-sanctions-procedure-against-hungaryover-rule-of-law-1536753206>. 40 Daniel Beers, ‘A Tale of Two Transitions: Exploring the Origins of Post-Communist Judicial Culture in Romania and the Czech Republic’ (2010) 18(1) Demokratizatsiya 28, 32. 41 Marius Stan and Vladmir Tismaneanu, ‘Democracy under siege in Romania’, Politic, (Article, 13 August 2018), <https://www.politico.eu/article/protest-piata-victoriei-bucharest-democracy-under-siege-in-romania/>.

strict regulations to protect public health, without standardised checks and balances in place, governments may not surrender this power resulting in permanent regression of democracy.

Membership in international organisations and unions may greatly reduce the likelihood of conflict because the operation of organisations such as the EU requires interdependence, collaboration, and diplomacy.42 Populist belief across Eastern Europe includes widely held Euroscepticism, mainly due to opposition of the EU requirements of liberal checks and balances, such as constitutional restraints on the government, as well as opposition to the expectations on immigration, which may now have become outdated due to COVID-19.43 There is a risk of the EU fading in relevance or disintegrating, which would leave Europe divided, akin to the divisions in Europe prior to WWI. Indicative of the wider risks posed by rising authoritarianism to international organisations and alliances, French President of the populist National Rally party, Marine Le Pen, has labelled NATO as ‘obsolete’, and Dutch populist party leader of the Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders, advocated for the Netherlands to leave the EU and NATO.44 A survey collaborated by the Pew Research Centre in 2016 asked Europeans if they felt their country should “deal with its own problems and let other countries deal with their own problems as best they can” or if they should “help other countries deal with their problems.” The highest percentages of respondents who believed in self-sufficiency were 83% in Greece, 77% in Hungary, 67% in Italy and 65% in Poland.45 This hostility to alliances correlates with the fact that Greece, Hungary and Poland were populist at the time the poll was conducted and Italy was classified as a “flawed democracy” by the Economist Intelligence Unit and is currently experiencing rising support for their populist party The Five Star Movement.46 Isolationist attitudes pose a unique risk amidst a pandemic where communication between nations is vital for viral containment and advancing medical knowledge. The circumstances of reduced interdependence between states, aggressive policies of populist governments and instability caused by this transition have security implications that heighten the possibility of war, as predicted by the democratic peace theory.

Despite the democratic peace theory positing that the proliferation of democracy will contribute to global peace, it is likely that war will always be inevitable. Nonetheless, an investigation

42 Azar Gat, ‘The Democratic Peace Theory Reframed: The Impact of Modernity’ (2005) 58(1) World Politics 73, 77. 43 Matthijs Roodujn and Stijn van Kessel 2019, Populism and Euroscepticism in the European Union, Oxford Research Encyclopedias, (Article, August 2019) <https://oxfordre.com/politics/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228637-e1045>. 44 Geert Wilders, ‘Wilders’s Plan: Time for Liberation’, (Webpage, 9 November 2016) <https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9291/geertwilders-liberation>; Will Kirby, ‘Le Pen backs Trump’s claim that NATO is ‘obsolete’ & vows to pull France out of alliance’, Express Online, (Article, 29 March 2017) <http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/785165/marine-le-pen-france-nato-obsolete-president-trump-ussr-vladimirputin-newsnight>. 45 Bruce Stokes, Richard Wike and Jacob Poushter, ‘Europeans Face the World Divided’, Pew Research Center, (Article, 13 June 2016) <https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2016/06/13/europeans-face-the-world-divided/>. 46 The Economist Intelligence Unit, ‘Global democracy has another bad year’, The Economist (Web Page, 22 January 2020) <https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/01/22/global-democracy-has-another-badyear>; Maria Lanzone, ‘The "post-modern" populism in Italy: The case of the Five Star Movement’, in Dwayne Woods and Barbara Wejnert (eds Many Faces of Populism: Current Perspectives (Emerald Group Publishing, 2014).

into the cause of war can help minimise the frequency of wars and the extent of their harm. The lack of constitutional constraints, rejection of measures to engrain interdependence, and the instability caused by the current change to authoritarian regimes has been shown to contribute to the chances of future conflict. However, this is not an exhaustive list of contributing factors and international relations scholars have investigated further into the political effects of a leader’s personality, geopolitical factors, such as sharing borders, and the possibility of benevolent authoritarianism. The world may currently be experiencing a wave of authoritarianism, however American political scientist, Francis Fukuyama, offering a differing perspective to that of Samuel P. Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilisations’, predicts that despite experiencing a temporary backlash, which may last for long periods of time, the globe will eventually adopt liberal democracy as its permanent system.47 Whilst this may eventually result in increased peace between more numerous mature democracies, both Fukuyama’s and Huntington’s hypotheses show there are many changes and conflicts to come before world politics ever stabilises.

47 Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (Free Press, 1992).

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Introduction, general overviews.

• Early Empirical Work
• Casualties and Public Support for War
• Audience Costs
• Variation among Democratic Political Institutions
• Variation among Authoritarian Political Institutions
• Democracy and War Outcomes
• Democracy, Alliance, and Wars
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## Democratic Peace Theory by Dan Reiter LAST REVIEWED: 02 May 2019 LAST MODIFIED: 25 October 2012 DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0014

Democratic peace is the proposition that democracies are more peaceful in their foreign relations. This idea dates back centuries, at least to Immanuel Kant and other 18th-century Enlightenment thinkers. In recent decades it has constituted a major research agenda, competing with and arguably supplanting other research agendas such as neo-realism. The democratic peace proposition has many possible empirical and theoretical forms. On the empirical side, some propose that democracies are more peaceful in their relations with all other states in the system (“monadic” democratic peace); some propose that democracies are more peaceful only in their relations with other democracies (“dyadic” democratic peace); others argue that the more democracies there are in a region or the international system, the more peaceful the region or international system will be (“systemic” democratic peace); and still others doubt the existence of any significant relationship between democracy and peace. Notably, most although not all empirical research on the democratic peace has employed quantitative methods of analysis. On the theoretical side, there are many different accounts of the relationship between democracy and peace, with most focusing on domestic political institutions, domestic political norms, and constructed identities. The democratic peace proposition is connected to many other propositions linking domestic politics and international relations, including that democracies are more likely to cooperate with each other, that democracies are more likely to win the wars they fight, that escalating military casualties degrade public support for war, that leaders initiate conflict to secure their domestic hold on power (the diversionary hypothesis), that democracies fight shorter wars, that different kinds of democracies experience different kinds of conflict behavior, that different kinds of authoritarian systems experience different kinds of conflict behavior, and others. The democratic peace also overlaps with related ideas such as the liberal peace and the commercial peace.

The democratic peace proposition has been lurking in Western thought for millennia, as Weart 1998 shows, but Kant 1991 provides its first modern formulation. The idea that global democracy would provide a solid foundation for global peace was restated in 1917 by Woodrow Wilson as a justification for American entry into World War I and then as part of his vision for a new world order. Modern political science first observed the dyadic democratic peace—that democracies tend not to fight each other—in the 1970s. The observation enjoyed greater attention in the 1980s in particular in two pathbreaking 1983 essays by Michael Doyle, reprinted in Doyle 2011 . It received fuller theoretical and empirical attention in the 1990s. Fukuyama 1992 , a famous argument that humanity had reached “the end of history,” incorporates the democratic peace proposition. Other scholars sought to develop the theory and push forward more advanced research designs in works such as Russett 1993 ; Ray 1995 ; and Rousseau, et al. 1996 . In the 2000s, proponents of the democratic peace responded to their critics and embedded the democratic peace in a broader Kantian peace ( Russett and Oneal 2001 ).

Doyle, Michael W. Liberal Peace: Selected Essays . New York: Routledge, 2011.

Contains a number of Doyle’s important essays, especially from the 1980s, that lay out the philosophical and theoretical basis of the democratic peace.

Fukuyama, Francis. The End of History and the Last Man . New York: Free Press, 1992.

Presents a Hegelian argument that humanity has at last achieved its penultimate form of political and economic organization, liberal democracy. The definitive intellectual statement that Western values triumphed in the Cold War.

Huth, Paul K., and Todd L. Allee. The Democratic Peace and Territorial Conflict in the Twentieth Century . Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Application of the democratic peace to territorial conflict in the 20th century. Presents a massive new data set on territorial conflicts.

Kant, Immanuel. Kant’s Political Writings . 2d ed. Edited by Hans S. Reiss. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Central essay is on the “perpetual peace,” which presents Kant’s vision as to how republics can maintain world peace. Originally published in 1796.

Ray, James Lee. Democracy and International Conflict: An Evaluation of the Democratic Peace Proposition . Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1995.

Provides an extensive literature review on democratic peace literature up to the early 1990s as well as case studies of the Fashoda Crisis and Spanish-American War.

Rousseau, David L., Christopher Gelpi, Dan Reiter, and Paul K. Huth. “Assessing the Dyadic Nature of the Democratic Peace, 1918–1988.” American Political Science Review 90.3 (1996): 512–533.

DOI: 10.2307/2082606

Important, early empirical test of the democratic peace, presenting important research design advances.Available online by subscription.

Russett, Bruce. Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post–Cold War World . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993.

The first book-length treatment of the democratic peace. Lays out the normative and institutional explanations of the democratic peace and presents a variety of different forms of rigorous evidence demonstrating the dyadic democratic peace, including sophisticated analysis of post-1945 conflict behavior.

Russett, Bruce, and John R. Oneal. Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations . New York: Norton, 2001.

Embedded the democratic peace in a larger theoretical framework, the Kantian Peace, in which democracy, trade, international organization, and peace all mutually reinforce each other. Presented more sophisticated empirical tests, addressing many 1990s theoretical and empirical critiques. Also see Democratization .

Weart, Spencer R. Never at War: Why Democracies Will Never Fight One Another . New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998.

Summarizes several years of work on democratic peace theory. Presents a narrative rather than statistical empirical tests. One main contribution is the analysis of democratic peace in pre-Napoleonic times, including ancient Greece and medieval Italy. Discusses the phenomena of democratic aggression and imperialism.

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#### VIDEO

1. Contemporary political theory & DECLINE OF POLITICAL THEORY 9

2. The Limits of Democratization: What is the Democratic Peace?

3. The Best Argument for Democratic Peace Theory

4. Political Theory

5. What Do We Need To Do To Achieve a Just Peace? A “Conversation” with John Rawls

6. The Lie of Democratic Peace Theory

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Proponents of "democratic peace theory" argue that both liberal and republican forms of democracy are hesitant to engage in armed conflict with other

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Furthermore, in line with Immanuel Kant's theory of perpetual peace, I argue that the global spread of democracy will result in greater

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It explores an alternative, and in some cases complementary, explanation for war and peace that derives from a domestic coalitional approach to politics. The

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occur, however, is by definition ex-ante: explanations for the democratic peace aim to. Page 22. Individuals under Threat. 10 find out what particularities