ZenPundit
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
ARE DEMOCRACIES REALLY MORE PEACEUL THAN OTHER STATES

H-Diplo is having a superb and thoughtful debate on " Democratic Government and Foreign Policy". It is a particularly apt question given the common assumption that " democracies do not go to war against each other " and the increase in democratic states in the last decade.

Skeptics are pointing to Ancient Greece and the relative scarcity of true democratic states until very recently to argue that this Fukuyama-esque maxim is merely wishful thinking.
 
Comments:
If I may sound two skeptical notes.

1) Nationalist movements are often violent, even those within nascent democracies.

2) Democracies can be fragile. See Weimar Germany.
 
Hi praktike

Your points are well-taken.

Democracy in Weimar Germany was grafted on to a basically hierarchical, status-conscious and authoritarian society, under the worst possible circumstances, a military defeat that had come as a political shock to the home front.

It is true that Imperial Germany had a vigorous parliamentary life but the commitment to liberalism and democracy was limited to a well-defined segment of the population. That segment was only as strong as it was in part because the constant constitutional tension between Berlin and the Lander sapped a lot of the government's energy and room for manuver.

Nationalism and democracy raises a whole host of issues - illiberal vs. liberal nationalism, illiberal democracy a la Zakaria - a large field. Both nationalism and democracy are potent forces in world affairs but the former has the potential to tap some truly terrible and atavistic passions.

Prak, you ought to consider jumping into the h-Diplo thread ( though you'll have to abandon your blogging nom de guerre)
 
Alas, I'll have to keep up the pretense of anonymity a little while longer.
 
Say, mark, are you familiar with this blog? It's essentially devoted to this question and its writer is a person of some authority.
 
I have to say that I agree with the sceptics in re the issue of Democracy and democracies not going to war with each other.
 
Hi Everyone,

The thread shows H-Diplo at its best -learned and interesting debate.

Dave -

I will check out the blog you recommended this morning. Perhaps its one for the blogroll.....

Col-

Eduard Mark seems to be doing a good job of making that case. While I'm heartily in favor of spreading democracy and liberty and believe there are intrinsic moral as well as national-interest reasons to do so, reason tells me that when we have enough democracies in the world, we'll get a war or two.

Good candidates for war down the democratic road, when both parties achieve democratic status:

Pakistan v. India

China v. Taiwan

Israel v. Palestine
 
Dave-

Ah, RJ Rummel, yes I'm familiar with him and his ideas but I hadn't realized that he had started a blog. Thank you for alerting me to this
 
Post a Comment

<< Home
Zenpundit - a NEWSMAGAZINE and JOURNAL of scholarly opinion.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Chicago, United States

" The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances as though they were realities" -- Machiavelli

Determined Designs Web Solutions Lijit Search
ARCHIVES
02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 / 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 / 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 / 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 / 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 / 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 / 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 / 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 / 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 / 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 / 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 / 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 / 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 / 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 / 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 / 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 / 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 / 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 / 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 / 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 / 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 / 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 / 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 / 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 / 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 / 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 / 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 / 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 / 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 / 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 / 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 / 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 / 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 / 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 / 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 / 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 / 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 / 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 / 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 / 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 / 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 / 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 / 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 / 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 / 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 / 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 / 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 / 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 / 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 / 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 / 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 / 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 / 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 / 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 / 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 / 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 / 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 / 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 /



follow zenpundit at http://twitter.com
This plugin requires Adobe Flash 9.
Get this widget!
Sphere Featured Blogs Powered by Blogger StatisfyZenpundit

Site Feed Who Links Here
Buzztracker daily image Blogroll Me!