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Grasping the Democratic Peace

Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World

Bruce Russett
William Antholis
Carol R. Ember
Melvin Ember
Zeev Maoz
Copyright Date: 1993
Pages: 184
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  • Book Info
    Grasping the Democratic Peace
    Book Description:

    By illuminating the conflict-resolving mechanisms inherent in the relationships between democracies, Bruce Russett explains one of the most promising developments of the modern international system: the striking fact that the democracies that it comprises have almost never fought each other.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-2102-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. CHAPTER 1 The Fact of Democratic Peace
    (pp. 3-23)

    Scholars and leaders now commonly say “Democracies almost never fight each other.” What does that mean? Is it true? If so, what does it imply for the future of international politics? Would the continued advance of democracy introduce an era of relative world peace? Can policymakers act so as to make that kind of peaceful world more likely, and, if so, how? Does the post–Cold War era represent merely the passing of a particular adversarial relationship, or does it offer a chance for fundamentally changed relations among nations?

    During the Cold War, Soviet-American hostility was overdetermined. The very different...

  5. CHAPTER 2 Why Democratic Peace?
    (pp. 24-42)

    When democratic states were rare, the Kantian perspective had little practical import, and power politics reigned. But if the Kantian perspective is correct, recent events replacing authoritarian regimes with democratic values and institutions in much of Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America¹ may have profound implications not just for governmental practices within states, but for worldwide peace among states. It may be possible in part to supersede the “realist” principles (anarchy, the security dilemma of states) that have dominated practice to the exclusion of “liberal” or “idealist” ones since at least the seventeenth century.

    Politics within a democracy is seen...

  6. CHAPTER 3 The Imperfect Democratic Peace of Ancient Greece
    (pp. 43-71)
    William Antholis

    As a basis for understanding better the sources and nature of peace among modern democracies, we begin with the only other well-documented state system with a large number of democratic regimes—the city-state system in Greece during the late fifth century B.C. That examination allows us to consider influences that restrained, or failed to restrain, democracies from fighting each other in a political and cultural context very different from the modern state system. Doing so may help give insights into the role that related yet quite different institutions and perceptions have played in restraining such conflict more recently.

    We first...

  7. CHAPTER 4 The Democratic Peace since World War II
    (pp. 72-98)
    Zeev Maoz

    In the modern world, the phenomenon of democratic peace is real. In this chapter we find strong evidence of the relative lack of conflict and the absence of war between democracies during the last half-century. It is a robust relationship, showing substantial strength even after alternative explanations are taken into account. Both normative and institutional restraints make a difference; they affect the political process in different ways, and can complement each other. Nor are they always either analytically or empirically distinguishable. But the evidence here brings together pieces of the puzzle in a coherent way, and serves as necessary background...

  8. CHAPTER 5 The Democratic Peace in Nonindustrial Societies
    (pp. 99-118)
    Carol R. Ember and Melvin Ember

    A very different empirical domain is that of ethnographically described societies which usually are not politically unified, the nonindustrial societies traditionally studied by anthropologists. As Segall puts it, cross-cultural research “is an unparalleled research strategy for discovering what goes with what on the broadest possible canvass” (1983, 7). As will be apparent, however, the domain really is so different from that in which the hypothesis first was generated that serious conceptual problems confront any such effort. The test of that hypothesis in this domain will therefore be, like that in chapter 3, a demanding one with reasonable expectations tilted against...

  9. CHAPTER 6 The Future of the Democratic Peace
    (pp. 119-138)

    Compared with their actions toward other kinds of states, democracies in the modern world are unlikely to engage in militarized disputes with each other. When they do get into disputes with each other, they are less likely to let the disputes escalate. They rarely fight each other even at low levels of lethal violence, and never (or almost never) go to war against each other. They are not in any of these respects markedly more peaceful toward authoritarian states than authoritarian states are toward each other. But democracies’ relatively peaceful relations toward each other are well established, and are not...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 139-150)
  11. References
    (pp. 151-166)
  12. Index
    (pp. 167-173)