Are Democracies Prone to War

Democracies are not prone to war with themselves since the decision to go to war is made by collective responsibility. Democracies have organs that are constitutionally mandated to make that decision it is not arrived at easily. Dialogue amongst the various organs must first take place. Most democracies have almost the same political systems, thus, it is difficult for them to go to war. Democracies are always known to gang up against an autocratic state which may be advancing militarily and economically. A perfect example was when the west ganged up against the Soviet Union during the cold war. Democracies have been encouraged to “learn to accommodate rising non-western civilizations whose values and interests differ significantly from those of the west” (Russett, Bushwhacking the Democratic Peace 398). In history there is no instance when democracies went to war. They always have other means of resolving differences amongst them (Russett, Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World 23). It is important to note that all of America’s allies are democracies. Chances are that they will never go to war with each other since by virtue of being allies they pursue similar ambitions. Democracies prefer diplomacy to war to solve sticking points amongst them. Democracies relate to each other in economic and by using geopolitical features that are shared by them (Rummel par 4).

A realist would say that invasion of certain countries which are seen as threats to the expansion of democracies are justified. Other theorists do not support the toppling of autocratic regimes by the use of great military powers that democracies possess. They argue that war is expensive and mostly kills innocent women and children. To realize success, they advocate the use of peacekeeping forces that help in keeping peace while not taking sides in a conflict. It minimizes the number of casualties (Russett et al. 172).

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