War, Democracy, and Peace

John Mueller

in International Relations Since the End of the Cold War

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199666430
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745607 | DOI:
War, Democracy, and Peace

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Democracy, a messy gimmick for aggregating (not creating) preferences, has proved to be at least somewhat superior to alternative methods, and has gained wide acceptance. A remarkably simple form of government, democracy can rather easily be established whenever the process remains uninhibited by thugs with guns. The rise of democracy has been correlated with the growing acceptance of another, essentially unrelated, idea, war aversion, a relationship that has been seized upon by theorists and, more recently, politicians to be a causal one. Putting theory into practice, leaders in the United States have sought to impose democracy on the Middle East partly operating under the misguided, if theoretically consistent, belief that this will cause peace to blossom in the area. The consequences have been catastrophic.

Keywords: war; war aversion; democracy; peace; ideas; Iraq War; democracy promotion

Chapter.  7383 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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