Democracy and Global Peace Essay
Democracy and global peace are intimately related. Democracy contributes to global peace. Nations can barely achieve peace in absence of democracy. For years, democratic governments have partnered to promote peace worldwide (Rosato 507).
The governments believe that free people can coexist harmoniously and work together for common goals. According to Rosato, Democratic Peace Theory maintains that democratic states hardly fight with one another (509). Consequently, the spread of democracy will help to accomplish global peace that many countries desire.
In most cases, people overlook the benefits of democracy. Some scholars argue that democracy is a major threat to universal peace (Spiro 44). They argue that the United States, which is a renowned democracy, is always at war with other countries, particularly from the Middle East.
Opponents of democracy argue that it forces governments to intervene in other states’ affairs in the name of restoring peace. The fact that major democracies are nonviolent is an indication that the potential spread of democracy will lead to a secure world.
Democracy and Peace
Hermann and Kegley argue that democracy does not lack its flaws (11). Hence, it is imperative not exaggerate or feign the advantages of democratization. Nonetheless, democracy has innumerable benefits to societies and world at large. Studies have shown that democratic states have never gone to war with each other.
In addition, statistics has confirmed that liberal states enjoy shared democratic peace. Challengers of democracy argue that liberal nations coexist peacefully with each other, but are apt to go to war with non-democratic countries (Hermann and Kegley 12). They cite the peaceful coexistence between the United States and Britain.
The countries uphold shared economic benefits that make them to coexist peacefully. The potential spread of democracy will lead to many countries engaging in trade, thus strengthening their ties and shunning disputes (Ray 28).
For instance, economic interdependence between Brazil and Argentina promotes democracy amid the two nations. On the other hand, lack of economic interdependence between Armenia and Azerbaijan made it hard to democratize the two nations and prevent them from fighting.
The spread of democracy will help to establish shared norms among countries, therefore ensure that they respect each others’ sovereignty. Democracy promotes the principles of liberalism. Consequently, one reason why liberal states do not fight is because they dedicate to safeguard the principles of freedom (Spiro 47).
Democratic ideologies offer no validation for conflict among democratic states. As a result, states address their disputes amicably.
In democratic systems, leaders are held accountable for all their actions. Hence, they fear to take actions that can make them to crash with the public. Besides, leaders are supposed to consult numerous institutions before making decisions.
For instance, in the United States, the president has to consult both the legislature and the executive before making key decisions. Institutional constraints found within democratic nations prevent countries from going to war with others.
The spread of democracy will ensure that national leaders are held accountable for their actions, thus ensuring that they do not result in wars in case of conflicts. Democratic nations ensure that all processes are transparent. Hence, they eliminate cases of prejudice and misperceptions that lead to conflicts.
There exist social forces that pull people in diverse directions in democratic societies. Hence, individuals are concerned with personal affairs making it difficult for them to fight since they do not share common interests. In most cases, violence emerges when people or nations compete for shared interests or economic resources.
In other words, the spread of democracy discourages the growth of common interests that lead to political and social conflicts. In totalitarian governments, social interests are centrally determined and controlled (Lai and Slater 114). Hence, chances of polarization of primary interests are high leading to conflicts.
For instance, the past turmoil experienced in Sierra Leone was as a result of polarized primary interests. In democratic states, people are tolerant to losses. However, totalitarian regimes are intolerant of losses. Consequently, they turn to violence as a way to protect their interests.
Democracy discourages union of public interests, which contribute to foreign hostility (Lai and Slater 115). Moreover, democratic leaders are unable to pursue foreign aggressions due to lack of public support.
Hence, the spread of democracy will help to tame global leaders and discourage them from engaging in international conflicts aimed at serving their egos and personal interests. Democracy requires states to deliberate on laws that outline when a country is supposed to engage in international conflicts.
Hence, it gives states an opportunity to weigh the effects of engaging in international conflicts and look for alternative measures.
The potential spread of democracy will provide numerous benefits to current and new democracies. However, scholars are against the proposition that democracies do not go to war. Democracy accommodates change of policies if states happen to conflict.
Moreover, it promotes liberal values and gives all people the freedom to participate in state’s affairs, thus avoiding hatred and animosity among citizens. The spread of democracy will guarantee that states no longer depend on military and economic power for peace.
Moreover, spread of democracy will ensure that there is peaceful coexistence among developed and developing states. Therefore, developed nations will no longer be afraid of emerging economies.
Hermann, Margaret and Charles Kegley. “Military Intervention and the Democratic Peace.” International Interactions 21.1 (1995): 1–21. Print.
Lai, Brian and Dan Slater. “Institutions of the Offensive: Domestic Sources of Dispute Initiation in Authoritarian Regimes, 1950–1992”. American Journal of Political Science 50.1 (2006): 113-119. Print.
Ray, James Lee. “Does Democracy Cause Peace?” Annual Review of Political Science 1.1 (2007): 27–46. Print.
Rosato, Sebastian. “The Flawed Logic of Democratic Peace Theory.” American Political Science Review 97.1 (2003): 585–602. Print.
Spiro, David. “Give Democratic Peace a Chance? The Insignificance of the Liberal Peace.” International Security 19.2 (2004): 41-53. Print.
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