Democracy: Features and Impact on Peace Essay
Democracy is an ancient socio-political term that originated from famous philosophers like Immanuel Kant. According to liberal theorists, when compared to monarchical or undemocratic nations, democratic regions are peaceful. Liberalists like Robert Jackson and Georg Sorensen, define democracy in four perspectives, namely sociological, interdependence, institutional and republican. Characteristically, liberal theorists classify democracy in terms of check and balances, institutional thesis, political-cultural and subsequent peace, among others. Therefore, the next discussion not only gives the characteristics of democracy but also highlights its contribution to worldwide peace.
According to Kant, the first feature of democracy is whereby republican nations or regions would refrain from war. Due to similar political practices and uniformity in the governance system, republican nations would rarely have conflicting elements. Whether it is country wise, regionally or internationally, the uniformity in the political structure compels both the leaders and the citizens to live in peace. Subsequently, if all nations encompass democracy in their leadership systems, then peace would prevail worldwide. Secondly, unlike the undemocratic regions, citizens are the indirect leaders of the nations. At least each individual participates in the governance of his or her won country, especially during elections. Consequently, if all citizens play a significant role in the governance system, then they would rarely support any form of war.
Personally, I find the aforementioned argument convincing because most of the developed countries like the United States of America have not experienced ravaging wars, especially from the late 20th century. Although absolute peace is hard to achieve, none of the democratic nations has gone to war. Nevertheless, in developing countries where democracy or elections are full of corruption and insincerity, civil wars continue to exist. For instance, Kenya, Egypt and Libya are some of the developing nations, which have experienced civil wars in the 21st century. Intuitively, the citizens have no access to their democratic rights, thus denying them the chance to play a role in governance. Eventually, they forcefully evict their leaders from the political offices. However, if everybody plays a role in promoting democracy, then there would be worldwide peace.
The second feature of democracy lies within the political, institutional structures. Unlike the undemocratic nations, democratic leadership means that there is power-sharing during governance. Democratic systems give different bodies to make and implement policies. For instance, in the United States of America, the government has three divisions, the president, the senate and the legislature. Each of the institutions has specific roles to play. Furthermore, through democracy, citizens can monitor their leaders through public opinions and election, among others. Therefore, when each institution has a different mandate to carry out in the government, then corruption and abuse of office would rarely exist. Moreover, citizens are free to evict leaders who promote poor policies, especially through the elections body. Consequently, political leaders have no otherwise but to make and implement policies, which will sustain them in their offices. Subsequently, peace would be one of the major policy democratic nations will implement.
Similarly, the above argument is definitely convincing because democratic nations like the U.S.A, Canada and Australia constantly enjoy peace. On the other hand, countries which had dictators like Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi, have experienced constant civil wars and poor international relations. Due to dictatorship, the aspect of policy-making/implementation lies within a few people. Consequently, some of their decisions may promote inhumanity and corruption, which sparkles war within a nation. For example, Gaddafi ruled Libya for more than four decades. Thus, most of his family members were not only running major political offices but also controlled the military. This means that due to lack of democracy, the power concentrates in a few hands, an element, which promotes war. The second example is Robert Mugabe from Zimbabwe, who continuously manipulates the constitutions in order to sustain him in office. Consequently, besides ravishing the economy of Zimbabwe, he has also sparkled poor international relations with other countries like Britain.
The third characteristic of democracy is a similarity in the political-cultural practices. Due to similar political system and policies, democratic nations would rarely have diverse views, which can lead to war. Although there may be some form of disagreement, consensus will always lead to a lasting solution. Socially, the constitution, values, beliefs and practices will draw some similarity among democratic nations. Consequently, democratic nations will be reluctant to go to war, thus establishing peaceful relations. This feature is convincing because those countries, which fall under the United Nations ad World Health Organization among other collective bodies, have similar political and social policies. Thus, none of them has experienced conflicts to the extent of resorting to war.
In conclusion, democracy is a political feature that originated in Europe. According to philosophers, countries or regions, which practice democracy, would rarely engage in wars. Division of power through institutions and similar political/social structures are some of the features of democracy. Critical analysis of the characteristics of democracy proves that it is the only lasting solution to worldwide peace, especially in third world countries.
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