Peace among democracies thesis

Samuel Tadros is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom. At Hudson, he is researching the rise of Islamist movements in the Middle East and its implications on religious freedom and regional politics. Prior to joining Hudson in 2011, Mr. Tadros was a Senior Partner at the Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth, an organization that aims to spread the ideas of classical liberalism in Egypt. Mr. Tadros has previously interned at the American Enterprise Institute, where he worked on the Muslim Brotherhood and worked as a consultant for the Hudson Institute on Moderate Islamic Thinkers, and most recently the Heritage Foundation on Religious Freedom in Egypt. In 2007 he was chosen by the State Department in its first Leaders for Democracy Fellowship Program in collaboration with Syracuse University's Maxwell School.

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 (., 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]

Why has the Nobel Peace Prize acquired such enormous prestige? There are many peace prizes, some of them worth large amounts of money. But none of them have so far matched the Nobel Prize in prestige. This is partly fortuitous, and also a question of the age of the Prize. But it must also be attributed to the assumption underlying what we have been discussing, which is that the broad range of criteria always includes what I have called a strong moral element. It appears to be precisely this type of prize which has the potential to attract people's attention. There also appears to be a self-reinforcing element here: widespread attention attracts still more attention. Many people, in short, feel a need for symbols that can appeal to their better instincts, or (Kant again) help them to overcome the evil principle in themselves. The choices of Peace Prize Laureates appear to have succeeded in some measure in creating symbols of this kind, whether the Laureate is a humanitarian aid worker like Mother Teresa or Fridtjof Nansen, an antimilitarist like Carl von Ossietzky, a statesman like Woodrow Wilson or Willy Brandt, or a campaigner for human rights like Nelson Mandela or Carlos Belo. I think this goes a long way towards explaining the prestige of the Prize. When all is said and done, the most important effect of the Nobel Peace Prize may be that it has succeeded in creating clear symbols which appeal to our best instincts – symbols of good will.

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 ).

Peace among democracies thesis

peace among democracies thesis

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 ).

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