Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Liberal/Democratic Peace Theory

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Liberal/Democratic Peace Theory"— Presentation transcript:

1 Liberal/Democratic Peace Theory
May 21, 2013

2 General Propositions Stems generally from suggestions in liberal and democratic theory that democracies may be more peaceful and cooperative in international relations Tend not to be empires Ordinary citizens tend not to see the state as their personal property, and therefore do not have the urge to expand it for purposes of enhancing personal or family power More accountability and checks may lead to more rational decisions, which in turn will prevent states from mistakenly entering wars Commercial nature provides material incentives to keep peace and creates ties among nations Tend to place more faith in permanent institutions that can be used to resolve differences peacefully

3 Particular Propositions
Kant’s discussion in “Perpetual Peace” of the prospects for a more peaceful world based on the operations of liberal republics Later empirical work that suggest that democracies tend not to go to war with other democracies As such, the development of the theory has sometimes split into two several lines research: Research into relations among and between democracies, in which the peaceful nature of democracies tends to be tested through pairwise discussions of relations between democraties Research on relations between democracies and non-democracies, in which the evidence suggests that democracies are “peaceful” when dealing with other types of regimes Research into the general nature of relations and actions having to do with democracies.

4 Important Distinctions
The literature sometimes does not attend carefully to the differences among “democracies,” “liberal regimes” and “liberal democracies,” which can lead to some confusion regarding the use of terms and concepts, the coding of data and analysis of data. “Democracy” refers to regime type: who controls power? Classically put in terms of one, few, or many. “Liberal” refers to the application of norms derived from a philosophical tradition that emphasizes the importance of the relationship between the state and individual citizens/groups of citizens.

5 Distinctions A democracy need not be liberal, and a liberal regime need not be democratic: Great Britain in 18th century more liberal than democratic Post 1789 French republic more democratic than liberal Thus, a authoritarian regime may respect individual rights and allow commercial activities all the while reserving power to a few A democracy may spread power among all citizens, but allow the community as a whole or majorities of citizens to impose values, lifeplans and norms on individuals and in so doing remove their ability to be autonomous in their private lives

6 Distinctions Democracies need not have systems of accountability any more extensive than a direct connection between the use of power and citizens. The concepts of checks and balances, the division of power, individual rights and constitutions do not come democratic theory, but from such outside traditions as liberalism and civic republicanism.

7 Distinctions “Democracy” is often not a binary concept, but a relative one, depending upon how many and which types of citizens are enfranchised. Compared with the Roman Empire, the early American Republic was democratic. But because it left many matters concerning the franchise to individual states, it tended to restrict the franchise to propertyowners, imposed rather high age restrictions, and tended to bar women and racial minorities from the franchise, it was not very democratic and less democratic than it is now.

8 Distinctions The nature of liberal regimes is also relative in much the same way as democracy, bit is probably even more importantly dimensional. A regime may be liberal in one set of relationships between the government and individuals/groups and illiberal in others. Singapore: generally liberal in economic matters, not very liberal in terms of non-economic rights Scandinavian states: tend to be more liberal in non-economic rights while regulating economic matters more closely US more liberal in terms of market-related activities than Europe in general, and Europe more liberal in such matters as the death penalty, welfare support and other similar types of positive economic rights.

9 Doyle:Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs
A discussion of Kant’s discussion of Perpetual Peace and its applications to current understandings of international relations by concentrating on the possible contributions of liberalism to peaceful interactions. Notes that while such tendencies are present and powerful, they are mostly focused on relations with other liberal regimes. When it comes to the operations of liberal principles in the relations between liberal and non-liberal regimes, the matter becomes more complicated, with elements of liberalism tending to make war rather more likely (in part because liberalism is pluralistic when it comes to thinking of individuals and groups, not when thinking about the nature of national regimes)

10 Doyle Argues that in its various forms, the modern liberal tradition:
Embraces the concept of democracy in the form of asserting the essential presence of a lawmaking body accountable to all citizens Embraces property rights Tends to understand economics in terms of market activities

11 Liberal International Relations
Built upon a Westphalian privileging of state autonomy and mutual respect that is built upon a respect for individual autonomy to be expressed in the character of a nation’s regime (still true? International human rights? Duty to intervene?) Has generally led to the absence of military conflict between or among liberal regimes. Moreover, this is manifested in the defection of liberal democracies from alliances containing non-liberal regimes when such alliances become engaged in wars with liberal regimes.

12 Alternative Explanations
These results cannot be explained by realism or rational theories: Realist and other theories point to “ Specific wars therefore arise from fear as a state seeking to avoid a surprise attack decides to attack first; from competitive emulation as states lacking an imposed international hierarchy of prestige struggle to establish their place; and from straightforward conflicts of interest that escalate into war because there is no global sovereign to prevent states from adopting that ultimate form of conflict resolution.”

13 Explanations Prudence: liberal peace has just been the product of states acting prudently, not the nature of the regimes; Response: preventative wars based on prudence– why none of those Why have no other type of state acted so prudently? Similarities and overlapping interests Other similar types of states go to war; what is the basis for the overlapping interests given that not all liberal democracies are near one another or have the same type of economy? Peace through bipolar equilibrium Such peace is typified by the absence of major wars, but not minor wars. Why no minor wars?

14 Kantian Answers Three part answer, all parts of which are important:
Republican government: pressures of both interal and external conflict and insecurity lead to accountable institutions and norms that recognize citizens as free and equal autonomous beings. Citizens in turn will restrain governments from going to war, not wanting to shoulder the practical costs of doing so, by using those rights and institutions

15 Kantian Answers International Law
Diverse countries that grow up in particular contexts are respected by the extension of equal respect to their citizens. These republics in turn develop a culture of respect and non-interference, as well as exercising transparency and respecting free speech that holds regimes and international relations up for critical scrutiny

16 Kantian Explanation Cosmopolitan Law
Emerges as a way of allowing and regulating international commerce through the division of labor and free trade. Those economic activities both bring benefits to countries that leave then better off than if they had not occurred, create ties and general material incentives to maintain peace and avoid war. Also disperses important decisionmaking such that problems are not necessarily directed at governments, but understood to be the result of individual actions

17 O’Neal and Russett: Causes of Peace
An importantly methodological piece that attempts to push forward the lines of analysis that Russett and those associated with the Journal of Conflict Resolution have pursued since the 1970s Has some positivistic elements Statistical analysis States treated as unitary actors But departs from a realist understanding of analysis Generates policy prescriptions Importance of regime type

18 O’Neal and Russett Comprehensive database involving regime types and conflicts going back to 19th century Attempts to capture dynamics of reciprocity and the effects of various characteristics associated with democratic peace (democracy, trade, interdependence, international organization) both separately and together Attempts to capture the full effect of variables by doing a time lag analysis Founded on a theory that while norms associated with liberal democracy important, most important driver is rational material interests.

19 O’Neal and Russett Explores all types of dyads Important variables
Level of democracy Degrees of interdependence Involvement in international organizations Involvement in alliances Relative power Distance between nations Also militarized and fatal and non-militarized disputes

20 Important findings All factors associated with Kantian peace– democracy, trade, interdependence and involvement in international organizations– have the effect of decreasing the likelihood of conflict between states when considered independently “In actuality, it is not the independent benefits of the three Kantian influences that are of primary importance because the three generally go together. As shown in our analysis of bilateral trade, democracies are more interdependent, and interdependence is facilitated by the creation of IGOs to manage states’ mutually beneficial relations. Other evidence shows that democracies join the same international organizations. Trade and involvement in international organizations may also make it difficult for authoritarian governments to survive. Consequently, it is useful to assess the effect of increasing all the Kantian elements simultaneously. Then, the incidence of fatal disputes drops by 95 percent.”

21 Important Findings “The pacific benefits of democracy, economic interdependence, and international organizations are all the more apparent if they are compared to the effects of alliances and a preponderance of power—the elements stressed in realist theories of international politics. Surprisingly, alliances do not reduce the likelihood of interstate disputes, even fatal ones, when the influences of the Kantian influences and the history of dyadic conflict are held constant. This strongly suggests that the expansion of NATO is not the most efficacious means of securing the peace in central Europe. Of greater benefit would be the consolidation of democracy, growing interdependence, and a stronger web of international organizations. These objectives are better achieved by the European Union and its associated institutions than by NATO.”

22 Important Findings “The effect of a preponderance of power, the other factor emphasized by realists, can be substantial: an increase in the capability ratio reduces fatal disputes by 73 percent. But this is only attained by raising the ratio of militarily significant capabilities from 1.3:1 to 50.7:1. Because the measure of national capabilities includes population and industry, it is clearly impossible for states to achieve this effect on their own.”

Download ppt "Liberal/Democratic Peace Theory"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google