OxBlog

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

# Posted 1:03 AM by Patrick Porter  

DEMOCRACIES AND WARS: A familiar but really interesting debate is happening over at the Futurist. Does a high per capita income combined with liberal democracy reduce the likelihood of wars between those states that have been converted to that level of wealth and those political values? Or does the process of democratising escalate the belligerence of states?
(2) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
I don't see why it has to be either/or. Stable democracies tend not to go to war with each other.

However, democracies by their nature create a sense of fragility no matter how stable. And governments that are unstable will have a tendency to react more belligerently against perceived threats (basic survival instinct).

The practical result is that a country new at democracy, not yet possessed of a stable foundation will, like most any other unstable government, be more warlike.
 
I think the difference is between professional army type wars and big mass army conscript type wars. Right now we are in a professional army type war. in Dafur they are in a mass war and the stakes for them are a lot higher. We could be pushed/goaded into a mass action war again. Most of those for us were fought under Democratic admenistrations.
 
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