Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Democratization as a Peace Strategy

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Democratization as a Peace Strategy

Article excerpt

Abstract

The European Union's Security Strategy views the creation of strong and stable states as a prerequisite for international peace and stability. At the same time, the establishment of democratic regimes is seen as fundamental to achieving domestic stability and, as an extension, development. Consequently, democratization and democracy promotion can been seen as strategies that the EU seek to employ in order to achieve international peace and security. The EU seeks to establish an international democratic order through the application of conditionality. The EU does not only apply conditions to states that seek membership of the Union but also to third states, such as the countries included in the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) or countries that seek to receive financial aid and development assistance from the European Union. In so doing, the article analyzes how the policy of conditionality applies to each different case.

Keywords: democratization, democracy promotion, conditionality, European neighborhood policy, development policy

1. Introduction

The study of the European Union's Security Strategy (ESS) reveals that the creation of stable states is considered as a prerequisite for international peace and stability. At the same time, domestic stability is associated with the establishment of democratic regimes. Consequently, democratization and democracy promotion can been seen as strategies that the EU seeks to employ in order to achieve international peace and security. But how has the EU sought to achieve these goals and what mechanisms has it used to promote democracy? The purpose of this paper is to address these fundamental questions. In doing so, it is divided into five sections. The first section discusses the EU's conception of the democracy-security/peace nexus and identifies how the EU has sought to achieve the democratization of third countries. The second section examines the idea and policy of 'conditionality', while the third section discusses how the implementation of EU conditionality affects and encourages the democratization of the candidate states. The fourth section focuses on the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), which is particularly important for understanding democratization in the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, and the Caucuses. The fifth and final section considers the importance of democratization on third states that are recipients of development aid.

2. Democratization and Security

The democracy-security nexus has been clearly established in the European Security Strategy which was adopted in 2003. Reading this document, one can easily observe that the EU has adopted a comprehensive understanding of the concept of security according to which threats to the security of any given state can arise both from within and outside its borders. As it has been stated in the ESS document, "The post-Cold War environment is one of increasingly open borders in which the internal and external aspects of security are indissolubly linked." In the summary of this document, it is also stated that "In the context of ever-increasing globalisation, the internal and external aspects of security are inextricably linked" (ESS, 2003:2).

Threats, according to the EU's conception of security, can operate not only in the military sector but also in the political, societal, economic, and environmental sectors. According to the European Security Strategy,

"Since 1990, almost 4 million people have died in wars, 90% of them civilians. Over 18 million people world-wide have left their homes as a result of conflict. In much of the developing world, poverty and disease cause untold suffering and give rise to pressing security concerns. Almost 3 billion people, half the world's population, live on less than 2 Euros a day. 45 million die every year of hunger and malnutrition. AIDS is now one of the most devastating pandemics in human history and contributes to the breakdown of societies. …

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