The Democratic Peace Theory

Home » Democrat » The Democratic Peace Theory

Democracy is considered the be one of the best forms of government and it is used by many civilized countries. What sets democracy aside from other government forms is the fact that all eligible citizens participate equally in the creation, proposal and development of laws. The participation is either direct or indirect, through elected representatives. There are many theories which are linked to democracy but the most important one is by far the democratic peace theory.

  • What does it stand for

According to this theory, democratic countries should not engage in armed conflicts with other democratic countries. This theory is also known as the democratic theory, the mutual democratic pacifism or the inter-democracy non aggression theory.

  • Pros and cons

A lot of people believe that this theory is not very well expressed and that the definitions of democracy, war or armed conflict can be manipulated. Others argue that the title is also misleading as it creates that confusion that peace should only be associated with democracy and that it is all right for democratic countries to go to war with countries which have other government forms. However, the purpose of this theory is not to criticize other forms of government but to highlight the fact that democratic countries support each other and that peace is easier to keep between democratic countries. However, there are certain neoconservatives who use this theory in order to justify war. Their reasoning is that it is OK to go to war as long as the purpose of the war is to spread democracy? This idea sounds a lot like the Christian Crusades.

  • The historical reasoning

It is believed that the democratic peace theory was inspired by Europe’s history. During the era of monarchy, France and England launched 20 wars over a 900 years period. In contrast to that era, ever since most European nations turned to democracy, they were less eager to go to war. However, it is also possible that the so called democratic peace is just a remain of the Cold War alliances.

  • The democratic peace theory in opposition with realism

Realism is a theory which is focused on power alliances and military developments. Once might say that both theories are focused towards creating alliances but there is a big difference between them. The realism theory suggests that democratic nations should focus on defending each other from threats posed by the rapid military development of other countries. On the other side, the peace theory argues that the decision to go to war should lie in the hands of the people who generally don’t want to go to war.