Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go to War / Edition 1

Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go to War / Edition 1

by Edward D. Mansfield, Jack Snyder
     
 

Does the spread of democracy really contribute to international peace?
Successive U. S. administrations have justified various policies intended to promote democracy not only by arguing that democracy is intrinsically good but by pointing to a wide range of research concluding that democracies rarely, if ever, go to war with one another. To promote democracy,

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Overview

Does the spread of democracy really contribute to international peace?
Successive U. S. administrations have justified various policies intended to promote democracy not only by arguing that democracy is intrinsically good but by pointing to a wide range of research concluding that democracies rarely, if ever, go to war with one another. To promote democracy, the United States has provided economic assistance, political support, and technical advice to emerging democracies in
Eastern and Central Europe, and it has attempted to remove undemocratic regimes through political pressure, economic sanctions, and military force. In
Electing to Fight, Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder challenge the widely accepted basis of these policies by arguing that states in the early phases of transitions to democracy are more likely than other states to become involved in war.

Drawing on both qualitative and quantitative analysis,
Mansfield and Snyder show that emerging democracies with weak political institutions are especially likely to go to war. Leaders of these countries attempt to rally support by invoking external threats and resorting to belligerent, nationalist rhetoric. Mansfield and Snyder point to this pattern in cases ranging from revolutionary France to contemporary Russia. Because the risk of a state's being involved in violent conflict is high until democracy is fully consolidated,
Mansfield and Snyder argue, the best way to promote democracy is to begin by building the institutions that democracy requires -- such as the rule of law -- and only then encouraging mass political participation and elections. Readers will find this argument particularly relevant to prevailing concerns about the transitional government in Iraq. Electing to Fight also calls into question the wisdom of urging early elections elsewhere in the Islamic world and in China.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262633475
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
03/30/2007
Series:
Belfer Center Studies in International Security
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,396,444
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Ch. 1The perilous path to the democratic peace1
Ch. 2Reconciling the democratic peace with accounts of democratization and war21
Ch. 3Explaining turbulent transitions39
Ch. 4Data and measures for testing the argument69
Ch. 5Democratization and war : statistical findings95
Ch. 6Democratizing dyads and the outbreak of war : statistical findings139
Ch. 7Democratizing initiators of war : tracing causal processes169
Ch. 8Tracing trajectories of democratization and war in the 1990s229
Ch. 9Conclusion : sequencing the transition for peace265
AppDemocratizing countries that experienced the outbreak of external war, 1816-1992
About the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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