f_0019756_16827

f_0019756_16827 - The Nexus between the Democratic Peace...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 2009 62 The Nexus between the Democratic Peace Theory and Economic Coercion: Why Democracies Fight Each Other? Heather Chingono * Abstract Recent research shows that the Democratic Peace Theory (hereinafter referred to as DPT) is based on the dyadic (democracies rarely if ever fight one another) and the monadic (democracies are more peaceful in general) assumptions. In asserting these premises the DPT has concentrated mainly on militarized conflict. However, recent scholarly work has shown that the definition of the term “conflict” has widened in scope to include economic conflict prompting the use of coercion. Using some sanctions episodes in Hufbauer Clyde Gary et al (2006) this article investigates how and why democracies have used economic sanctions against each other despite their shared values and beliefs, economic interdependence and universal conflict resolution mechanisms that presumably favor peace. This research seeks to falsify the dyadic premise/claim of the DPT by citing a clash of interests, domestic values and priorities among citizens, high levels of trade between democracies and economic strength of democracies as factors facilitating democracies sanctioning each other. Key words: democratic peace theory (DPT), economic sanctions/coercion, democracies. Introduction A significant number of studies empirically tested and validated the assertion that democracies do not go war with one another (Kant 1969; Babst 1972; Singer and Small 1976; Rummel 1979; Chan 1984; Layne 1994; Cohen 1995; Owen 2004). Furthermore, vast empirical research on DPT
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 2009 63 has rigorously focused on militarized conflict, of different historical epochs, hence conclusively drawing decidedly mixed results. However, a majority of these researches have restricted the meaning of the term “conflict” to armed disputes. Chan (1997) reiterates that, whether conflict is defined as war, intervention or militarized disputes, is of less importance. 1 This is because a vast number of empirical studies that have concluded democracies are not less conflict-prone than non- democracies in general have reinforced Doyle’s statement that is “the very constitutional restraint, shared commercial interest, and international respect for individual rights that promote peace among liberal societies can exacerbate conflicts between conflict and nonliberal societies”. 2 Nonetheless, it remains of paramount significance to ascertain whether other types of conflict behavior such as economic sanctions are relevant to the propositions of the DPT especially against a background that, the use of militarized disputes is becoming less prevalent. In a bid to avoid the hostilities caused by armed conflict, most countries have resorted to other less devastating punitive coercive foreign policy tools in dealing with countries purportedly
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f_0019756_16827 - The Nexus between the Democratic Peace...

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