Book - MIT Press

Paths to Peace: Is Democracy the Answer?

Many political scientists have hailed the apparent existence of Democratic Peace--the absence of wars between democracies--as proof that a world of democracies would be a world without war. This idea challenges traditional approaches to international politics, which focus on the balance of power between states regardless of their political systems. It also has important implications for world politics, especially as President Clinton has made the promotion of democracy a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy on the grounds that democracies never fight each other.

This volume examines historical cases that shed light on various arguments that might account for a Democratic Peace. Focusing on international crises between democratic, democratic-nondemocratic, and nondemocratic pairs of states that either escalated to war or were resolved peacefully, Paths to Peace explores the extent to which domestic norms and institutions influence threat perceptions and the process of foreign policymaking.

Cases involving democratic pairs include the Anglo-French entente cordiale, the Spanish-American War, Anglo-American peace since 1815, and Finland versus the Western democracies in World War II. Cases involving democracies and nondemocratic counterparts include the British-Argentine war over the Falklands, the Indo-Pakistani conflict, and Israel's invasion of Lebanon. Finally, cases involving nondemocratic relationships include events such as the Iran-Iraq War and examples of nondemocratic peace, such as the resolution of crises between Peru and Colombia, Indonesia and Malaysia, and Turkey and Greece.

Miriam Fendius Elman is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Arizona State University. She is co-editor of Progress in International Relations Theory: Appraising the Field and Bridges and Boundaries: Historians, Political Scientists, and the Study | of International Relations.

About This Book

Paths to Peace: Is Democracy the Answer?
For more information on this publication: Please contact International Security
For Academic Citation: Elman, Miriam. Paths to Peace: Is Democracy the Answer?. Edited by Miriam Fendius Elman, ed.. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997.

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