Ballots and Bullets The Elusive Democratic Peace

ISBN-10: 0691070229
ISBN-13: 9780691070223
Edition: 1999
Authors: Joanne Gowa
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Description: There is a widespread belief, among both political scientists and government policymakers, that "democracies don't fight each other." Here Joanne Gowa challenges that belief. In a thorough, systematic critique, she shows that, while democracies were  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 7/30/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 144
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

There is a widespread belief, among both political scientists and government policymakers, that "democracies don't fight each other." Here Joanne Gowa challenges that belief. In a thorough, systematic critique, she shows that, while democracies were less likely than other states to engage each other in armed conflicts between 1945 and 1980, they were just as likely to do so as were other states before 1914. Thus, no reason exists to believe that a democratic peace will survive the end of the Cold War. Since U.S. foreign policy is currently directed toward promoting democracy abroad, Gowa's findings are especially timely and worrisome. Those who assert that a democratic peace exists typically examine the 1815-1980 period as a whole. In doing so, they conflate two very different historical periods: the pre-World War I and post-World War II years. Examining these periods separately, Gowa shows that a democratic peace prevailed only during the later period. Given the collapse of the Cold War world, her research calls into question both the conclusions of previous researchers and the wisdom of present U.S. foreign policy initiatives. By re-examining the arguments and data that have been used to support beliefs about a democratic peace, Joanne Gowa has produced a thought-provoking book that is sure to be controversial.

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Analytic Foundations of the Democratic Peace
Legislators, Voters, and the Use of Force Abroad
Reinterpreting the Democratic Peace
Interests and Alliances: Comparing Two International Systems
Major-Power Alliance Dyads, 1870-1903
Major-Power Alliance Dyads, 1946-1961
Explaining Relative Dispute-Rate Patterns
Conclusion
References
Index

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