Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World

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Is Communism's collapse merely the passing of a particularly lethal adversarial relationship between the super powers - or an extraordinary chance to make fundamental changes in how nations resolve conflicts? In answering this query, Bruce Russett shows that the world's great nations now have an opportunity to realize the "democratic peace" envisioned by Immanuel Kant and Woodrow Wilson. These two men suggested in their own eras wham has become increasingly clear in our own: democracies do not fight each other. ...
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Overview

Is Communism's collapse merely the passing of a particularly lethal adversarial relationship between the super powers - or an extraordinary chance to make fundamental changes in how nations resolve conflicts? In answering this query, Bruce Russett shows that the world's great nations now have an opportunity to realize the "democratic peace" envisioned by Immanuel Kant and Woodrow Wilson. These two men suggested in their own eras wham has become increasingly clear in our own: democracies do not fight each other. Now, as the Clinton administration strives to replace the goals of the Cold War with a "pro-democracy" foreign policy, the desire for a shared peace among democracies is becoming one of the most urgent concerns not only of the United States but of the entire international community. In this original and far-reaching study of the relevant issues, Russett discusses instances of "democratic peace" from preindustrial societies through ancient Greece through the modern international system of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His account reveals that the relative peace between democracies is due not to their wealth, their alliances, and their distance from each other, but to the norms and strategies characteristic of democracy-to-democracy relationships. By illuminating the conflict-resolving mechanisms inherent in these relationships, he explains one of the most promising developments of the modern international system: the striking fact that the democracies that it comprises have almost never fought each other. This profound work not only addresses a broad audience of scholars and policy professionals but also reaches outside the professional debate to engage other readers who are also seriously interested in the new administration's foreign policy and in international relations are generally. It promises to become the major text of the continuing dialogue on whether and how a "democratic peace" may finally be achieved.

Is Communism's collapse merely the passing of a lethal adversarial relationship between the super powers--or an extraordinary chance to make fundamental changes in how nations resolve conflicts? In this far-reaching study, Russett discusses periods of "democratic peace" and the relationships between democracies.

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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs - Francis Fukuyama
Russett finds this [the proposition that democracies do not fight each other] to be an extraordinarily robust conclusion.... [The book] presents a challenge to realists while providing a rigorous undergirding to what has become a widespread view.
Survival - Roland Dannreuther
The ambition and scope of the study provides the illuminating and unexpected insights into the relationships between war and democracy.
International Studies Review - Jack S. Levy
The descriptive phase of scholarly research on the absence of war between democratic dyads has been largely completed, and attention is now shifting to alternative explanations for this well-confirmed empirical generalization. The best place to begin, both for a summary of the descriptive evidence and for an attempt to explain it, is Bruce Russett's Grasping the Democratic Peace.
The Journal of Politics - David A. Lake
In Grasping the Democratic Peace, Bruce Russett has published a powerful book clarifying the theoretical debate and producing additional support for the relative pacifism of democracies from previously untapped sources. The book will quickly claim a secure place in the literature for its insight and empirical originality. No student of international relations can fail to profit from a close read.
The Journal of Politics - -David A. Lake
In Grasping the Democratic Peace, Bruce Russett has published a powerful book clarifying the theoretical debate and producing additional support for the relative pacifism of democracies from previously untapped sources. The book will quickly claim a secure place in the literature for its insight and empirical originality. No student of international relations can fail to profit from a close read.
From the Publisher

"Russett finds this [the proposition that democracies do not fight each other] to be an extraordinarily robust conclusion.... [The book] presents a challenge to realists while providing a rigorous undergirding to what has become a widespread view."--Francis Fukuyama, Foreign Affairs

"The ambition and scope of the study provides the illuminating and unexpected insights into the relationships between war and democracy."--Roland Dannreuther, Survival

"The descriptive phase of scholarly research on the absence of war between democratic dyads has been largely completed, and attention is now shifting to alternative explanations for this well-confirmed empirical generalization. The best place to begin, both for a summary of the descriptive evidence and for an attempt to explain it, is Bruce Russett's Grasping the Democratic Peace."--Jack S. Levy, International Studies Review

"In Grasping the Democratic Peace, Bruce Russett has published a powerful book clarifying the theoretical debate and producing additional support for the relative pacifism of democracies from previously untapped sources. The book will quickly claim a secure place in the literature for its insight and empirical originality. No student of international relations can fail to profit from a close read."---David A. Lake, The Journal of Politics

"Bruce Russett's laudable book summarizes, dissects, and expands our understanding of the disinclination shown by democracies to fight each other, a finding that has spawned a minor cottage industry of analytic studies. . . . the book combines rigor and relevance, maturity and originality. . . ."--American Political Science Review

Foreign Affairs
Russett finds this [the proposition that democracies do not fight each other] to be an extraordinarily robust conclusion.... [The book] presents a challenge to realists while providing a rigorous undergirding to what has become a widespread view.
— Francis Fukuyama
Survival
The ambition and scope of the study provides the illuminating and unexpected insights into the relationships between war and democracy.
— Roland Dannreuther
International Studies Review
The descriptive phase of scholarly research on the absence of war between democratic dyads has been largely completed, and attention is now shifting to alternative explanations for this well-confirmed empirical generalization. The best place to begin, both for a summary of the descriptive evidence and for an attempt to explain it, is Bruce Russett's Grasping the Democratic Peace.
— Jack S. Levy
American Political Science Review
Bruce Russett's laudable book summarizes, dissects, and expands our understanding of the disinclination shown by democracies to fight each other, a finding that has spawned a minor cottage industry of analytic studies. . . . the book combines rigor and relevance, maturity and originality. . . .
The Journal of Politics
In Grasping the Democratic Peace, Bruce Russett has published a powerful book clarifying the theoretical debate and producing additional support for the relative pacifism of democracies from previously untapped sources. The book will quickly claim a secure place in the literature for its insight and empirical originality. No student of international relations can fail to profit from a close read.
— David A. Lake
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691033464
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/12/1993
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface (1995)
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 The Fact of Democratic Peace 3
The Emergence of Democratic Peace before World War I 5
The Spread of Democratic Peace 9
Democracy, War, and Other Ambiguous Terms 11
Some Alleged Wars between Democracies 16
Ch. 2 Why Democratic Peace? 24
Alternative Explanations 25
Democratic Norms and Culture? 30
Structural and Institutional Constraints? 38
Distinguishing the Explanations 40
Ch. 3 The Imperfect Democratic Peace of Ancient Greece 43
Democracy, Autonomy, and War in Ancient Greece 43
Who Fought Whom? 51
When and Why Did Democracies Fight Each Other? 54
Norms and Perceptions 59
Appendix: Greek City-States in the Peloponnesian War: Their Domestic Regimes and Who They Fought 63
Ch. 4 The Democratic Peace since World War II 72
Who and When 73
What Influences Conflict? 76
Democracy Matters 84
Norms and Institutional Constraints 86
Appendix: States and Their Political Regimes, 1946-1986 94
Ch. 5 The Democratic Peace in Nonindustrial Societies 99
Warfare and Participation 100
Participation Matters 105
Some Examples 111
Appendix: Codes for Political Decision-making 115
Ch. 6 The Future of the Democratic Peace 119
Covert Action against Other Democracies 120
The Discourse at the End of the Cold War 124
From the Inside Out 129
Strengthening Democracy and Its Norms 131
Can a Wider Democratic Peace Be Built? 135
Notes 139
References 151
Index 167
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