Does Democracy Cause Peace?

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Does Democracy Cause Peace?

Poll ended at Wed May 12, 2004 4:34 pm

Yes
5
24%
No
16
76%
 
Total votes : 21

Does Democracy Cause Peace?

Postby Prodigal Son » Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:34 pm

This is a question that has been batted around by professional social scientists for quite some time. Currently, the answer is a tentative "yes," but there are some strong theoretical and methodological problems underlying work on the subject. What we do know for sure, however, is that the probablity of liberal democracies, especially "mature" liberal democracies going to war with one another is extremely small.

Thoughts and comments?
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I don't think so.

Postby Kurt » Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:57 pm

It might be a by product of peace.

But Iron Fisted dictatorships can "cause" peace (Tito, Brezhnev)

"exporting" Democracy seems to cause violence.
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hell no democracy doesnt cause peace

Postby crotalus01 » Mon Apr 12, 2004 5:08 pm

democracy is not the ideal form of government for all situations. look at the attempts to install democratic govenments in Africa....hell, the idea of countries doesnt even work there. too many nomadic peoples that dont get the concept of borders.
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peace and democracy

Postby kilroy » Mon Apr 12, 2004 5:17 pm

i could see a correlary effect, but it's hard to argue causality. so that'd be a big negatory from me.

an interesting side note: the roman republic (a democracy) used to implement temporary dictators during times of war or disaster to make gov't action more efficient. if that means anything to you.
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Postby Prodigal Son » Mon Apr 12, 2004 5:28 pm

Some of the problems in developing countries...hell...MOST of them are simply due to bad government. African leaders for instance, have, on the whole, largely used the "state" as a mechanism to systematically redistribute weatlh from the "haves" to whomever the government needs to buy off in order to remain in power. Zimbabwe is a good example of this. Democracy often fails and violence results because there are no meaningfull constraints on governments -- weak, corrupt legal systems, undeveloped civil society, parties based on ethno-cultural ties (which promote strong cooperation between individuals), and so forth. Democrarcy in such situtations become a "lottery" -- with those winning able to expropriate the wealth of all the others. This is why young democracies are so much fun for RYP and all you other globe-trotting adventurers -- and often prone to experience lots and lots of vioilence.
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*

Postby Piggs » Mon Apr 12, 2004 8:12 pm

Prodigal Son wrote:Zimbabwe is a good example of this. Democracy often fails and violence results because there are no meaningfull constraints on governments -- weak, corrupt legal systems, undeveloped civil society, parties based on ethno-cultural ties (which promote strong cooperation between individuals), and so forth. Democrarcy in such situtations become a "lottery" -- with those winning able to expropriate the wealth of all the others.


Well back int the day, my father fought to save Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), but no one cared back then except a politician named Ronald Reagan. He seemed to think it was a good idea to defeat the Russian backed commies in Africa. But seriously Africa is a whole 'nother world.
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Postby Penta » Mon Apr 12, 2004 9:47 pm

Kilroy wrote:
the roman republic (a democracy)


not exactly democracy in the modern sense of the term. Women voters? Slaves? Subjugated people all over the known world?
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Re: peace and democracy

Postby crotalus01 » Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:40 am

the roman republic (a democracy)


the roman Republic was not a democracy by defintion, nor is the USA. both are Republics ("and to the Repulic for which it stands".....the roman Republic). a true democracy would be every vote counts, I. E. each individual vote and not some convoluted representative system.
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Postby Prodigal Son » Tue Apr 13, 2004 3:00 pm

:-) Actually, defining "democracy" is another one of the academic parlor games that keeps nerdy social-science types like me busy.

Rome is a good example...but I would expand it to include ancient Athens (widespread slavery), Imperial Britain (male members of the working class only got the vote after WWI), and the United States (Blacks were effectively disenfranchised before the 60s and all property restrictions on the sufferege was removed circa 1820)...so it's difficult to say what, exactly, a democracy is. (Note, "republic" is usually considered an analytically useless term. All modern democracies are representative republics)

Scholars who study this stuff say the hallmarks of "modern" liberal democracies are competitive, representative institutions, competitive elections for the position of chief executive, institutionalized and respected human rights, and, increasingly, an independent judiciary governing the rule of law.
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Er...I don't think so.

Postby Penta » Thu Apr 15, 2004 5:20 pm

All modern democracies are representative republics


I can think of a few that would count as modern representative democracies that aren't republics.

Just in Europe: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, UK, Liechtenstein, Monaco and Luxembourg (or they all had constitutional monarchs or princes until recently). Then there's Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. That's before we even start on Africa, Asia ...

Perhaps the world's most advanced democracies (which I would have thought most non-scholars would place in Scandinavia) don't count.
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Postby Aegis » Thu Apr 15, 2004 7:17 pm

I can think of a few that would count as modern representative democracies that aren't republics.

Just in Europe: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, UK, Liechtenstein, Monaco and Luxembourg (or they all had constitutional monarchs or princes until recently). Then there's Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. That's before we even start on Africa, Asia ...




re·pub·lic ( P ) Pronunciation Key (r-pblk)
n.
1.
a.A political order whose head of state is not a monarch and in modern times is usually a president.
b.A nation that has such a political order.

2
a.A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them.
b.A nation that has such a political order.

3.often Republic A specific republican government of a nation: the Fourth Republic of France.

4.An autonomous or partially autonomous political and territorial unit belonging to a sovereign federation.

5.A group of people working as equals in the same sphere or field: the republic of letters.
http://www.dictionary.com
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I think all the nations Penta mentioned fit the bill.
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Postby Prodigal Son » Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:16 pm

Definition 2 is the closest to how modern scholars peg political regimes. Athenian, New-England-Town-Hall Democracy had all members participating the drafting of laws, judging trials, ect. Modern democracies are all "republics" in the sense the people (some or all) choose a set of individuals that represent them in the government. Defining a country as a "liberal democracy" depends upon the characteristics of the two groups -- selectors and selectees.
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Er, no again

Postby Penta » Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:21 pm

Aegis: which definition fits the UK? Do tell.

Of course, I'm a republican but not a Republican, and neither of the sovereign nations I live in is a republic by any of those definitions (since I don't accept the EU as a sovereign federation in definition 4.)


And what a peculiar pronunciation key your dictionary has: don't you pronounce vowels at all in your part of the world? We say ri-pub'lik.
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Postby Dim » Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:24 pm

a.A political order whose head of state is not a monarch and in modern times is usually a president

most of the countries given in Pentas list have a (ceremonial) monarch for a head of state, and thus don't fit the definition of a republic.
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Postby Aegis » Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:27 pm

Aegis: which definition fits the UK? Do tell.


2
a.A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them.
b.A nation that has such a political order.


Seems about right. If you disagree, then please explain, but as far as I can tell the citizens of the UK vote for their MPs.
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