Democracy and Democratization: Processes and Prospects in a Changing World

By Georg Sørensen | Go to book overview

FOUR
International Consequences of Democracy: Peace and Cooperation?

Will the spread of democracy mean the end of war? Can we look forward to a more peaceful world focused on cooperation toward mutual gain instead of conflict and violence? This chapter examines the consequences for international relations of the spread of democracy. Democracy is again treated as the independent variable; the aim is to discover its effects on relations between states and on the nature of the international system.

The scholarly debate contains widely diverging views. One school of thought expects profoundly positive consequences from the spread of democracy; another completely rejects the importance of democracy for international relations. We shall see that these seemingly contrasting views are not entirely incompatible, but first the main arguments in the theoretical debate must be presented.


THE DEBATE ON DEMOCRACY AND PEACE

The argument that democracy is an important force for peace has as its most forceful advocate the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. In his essay "Perpetual Peace," which was published in 1795, Kant developed his argument in several stages.1 First, he pointed to a natural tendency for states to organize in the form of liberal republics because that system of rule bestows legitimacy on the political leaders and promotes popular support for the state, making it well suited to face foreign threats. In other words, states not organized as liberal republics will tend to be unsuccessful.

A "liberal republic" corresponds roughly to what is called a political democracy in this book. Thus, the establishment of democracies in the

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Democracy and Democratization: Processes and Prospects in a Changing World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Forthcoming iii
  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Tables and Figures xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acronyms xv
  • Introduction 1
  • One - What is Democracy? 3
  • Conclusion 23
  • Two - Processes Of Democratization 24
  • Conclusion 62
  • Three - Domestic Consequences Of Democracy: Growth and Welfare? 64
  • Conclusion 92
  • Four - International Consequences Of Democracy: Peace and Cooperation? 93
  • Conclusion 119
  • Five - The Future of Democracy And Democratization 121
  • Conclusion 134
  • Discussion Questions 137
  • Notes 139
  • Suggested Readings 155
  • Glossary 159
  • About the Book And Author 163
  • Index 165
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