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Unformatted text preview: Nicole Katzman
September 28, 2011
Lecture 9 Notes
The Democratic Peace
r= Rally Effect
a’ = decreased cost of war
Do Democracy and Peace Go Together?
• An apparent connection between democracy and peace
• As long-time rivals become democracies, more peaceful relations arise
• As democracy has spread, decline in number of interstate wars
• France and Britain:
The two countries fought each other regularly since the Norman (French) invasion
of England in 1066. Among others, this war was followed by the Battle of
Agincourt (1415), the Second Hundred Years' War (1688–1815), the American
Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the French Revolutionary Wars and the
Napoleonic Wars (1792–1815). Their military rivalry ended when Napoleon was
finally defeated at the Battle of Waterloo (1815). After that, the French monarchy
was constrained by constitutional limitations and first attempts at constitutional
monarchy and republican forms of government were made. Figure 4.6
The S read of Democracy, 1810-2006
p 100 70
N u m b e r D e m o c r a t ic P e r c e n t a g e D e m o c r a t ic 60 80 50 70
60 40 50
30 20 20 10 10
0 P e r c e n ta g e D e m o c r a tic N u m b e r o f D e m o c r a c ie s 90 0
1800 1820 1840 1860 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 Source: M onty G. Marshall, Keith Jaggers, and Ted Robe rt Gurr, Polity IV Project: Political Regime Characteristics and Transitions,
1800-2006. Available on-line at http://www.systemicpeace.org/ polity/polity4.htm. Accessed 10 J une 2008. The Democratic Peace
• Although democracies fight on average as frequently as other states, they tend not
to fight one another.
• Political competition
• Frequent, fair elections
• Large electorate
Liberal states value individual rights:
– Civil and political rights
– Free speech
– Free religion
– Political association
– Free press
An Interest Explanation
• Special interests are less likely to prevail in democracies.
• Decisions are made by those who bear the costs of fighting so war is more
• Rulers can be held accountable.
Are Rulers Held Accountable?
• Yes: about 85% of leaders who lost costly wars were out of office within a year •
• • Leaders of democracies who lost a costly war are punished by not being elected
Leaders of non-democracies also punished:
– Go to prison
– Sent into exile
About the slide below:
– Left picture- looking at outcome of war and leaders who lost or stayed in
power. Many leaders stay in power if they lead nation to victory, there is
not a lot of punishment for leaders who have small losses, and those
leaders who lose a big loss aren’t likely to stay in office.
– Right Picture- Difference in democratic and nondemocratic leaders. Small
bars show democratic leaders losing office. Tall bars show nondemocratic
leaders losing office and getting more punishment (executed, exile, etc) War and t he Fat e of Leaders
W a r a n d th e F a te o f L e a d e r s
D e m o c r a c y a n d th e F a te o f W a r -T im e L e a d e r s 50
50 40 45
S t a y e d in P o w e r 25 Lost P ow er 20 N um ber of cases Num ber of cases 45 35
30 V ic t o r y 25 Loss 20
10 15 5
0 10 Lost P ow er 5 P u n is h e d if
Lost P ow er D e m o c ra tic L e a d e rs 0
V ic to ry S m a ll L o s s B ig L o s s Lost P ow er P u n is h e d if
Lost P ower N o n -D e m o c r a t ic L e a d e r s F a te o f L e a d e r W a r o u tc o m e Interests alone not sufficient to explain the democratic peace
• Non-democratic leaders are also held accountable
• If democratic leaders were more constrained by a pacifist public, they would fight
fewer wars overall
• Democracies do fight non-democracies An Informational Explanation
• Map of societies who are less transparent- United States, Canada, Australia,
Sweden, Finland, and Alaska
• Democracies are more transparent.
– Democracies are less able to “bluff”
– But challenges, once made, are more credible.
• Transparency can also reduce the incentive for preemptive wars
• Democracies may have higher “audience” costs- the cost a leader bears if they
make a challenge and don’t follow through with it.
– Leaders appear to pay a higher political cost for making a challenge and
then backing down.
– This also means that challenges are more credible.
• So democracy affects the crisis bargaining process
• “Conflicts of interest” are necessary but insufficient to explain war.
• States fail to reach mutually preferred bargains when
– Information is incomplete
– Agreements lack credibility
– Issues are indivisible.
• Narrow interests typically make countries more belligerent, but do not directly
• Democratic institutions reduce information asymmetries and the likelihood of
• Ancient Athens fought other democracies. For example, during the
(unsuccessful) Sicilian Expedition in 415 BC.
• Battle of Fashoda 1898:
Britain and France had an imperial conflict in Fashoda (present-day Kodok,
Sudan). This was at the height of their territorial dispute in Africa; it was settled
by diplomacy. ...
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