Analysis Paper – The Dark Side of Democracy: An Analysis of Why the West Engages in War

Posted by / 26th August 2018 / Categories: Analysis, Opinion / -

Democratic Peace Theory (DPT) has been one of the most influential schools of thought in Western policy making of the past 70 years. It holds that democracies do not tend to go to war with each other. As a result, democratisation of the world is seen as a desirable goal, and one that justifies aggressive foreign policy by democracy-proselytising actors. We argue that DPT does not hold up to scrutiny, and has been a vehicle for significant damage to global peace. Political convenience has allowed it to thrive, and that it has facilitated unnecessarily aggressive foreign policy by democratic states. DPT logically leads to the ambition of global democratisation because of the asserted peace and stability it would bring. This has been a persistent yet mistaken view; artificially accelerated democratisation of the world is undesirable.

A ReSeT Analysis Paper authored by Iñigo Eguia Sosa and Balder Hageraats

For the full paper, please click here.


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ReSeT is a think tank on international relations. Through analysis and the generation and application of ideas, we grow and share our understanding of global affairs and local contexts.

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