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Democracies And Their Tendency To Be More Peaceful Than Authoritarian States

1655 words - 7 pages

Democracies And Their Tendency to be More Peaceful Than Authoritarian States

To answer this question we first need to define and contrast the two
different types of state. An authoritarian state is one that enforces
a policy of strict obedience, compliance and may use tyrannical and
domineering measures to obtain this. A vote system may be in operation
but any dissenting section of the population may come under threat
from the government in control thus making the vote a mere stage show.
Unlike the above a democratic state sees individual freedom as
paramount to the success of a capitalist democracy, which has a system
of government influenced by the whole population via the use of
representatives.

We assume the word peaceful used in this context is the opposite of
war but war is the most extreme consequence of the bad reaction
between two or more states. Actions of other states may cause another
to experience civil unrest, civil panic and changes in legislation;
most commonly an occurrence in democratic states as seen in light of
9/11, which I will discuss later on in the essay.

1945 and the end of World War II was a significant turning point with
regards to peace between democratic states. Before 1945 'The League of
Nations' was an attempt to avoid conflict like the Great War from
recurring. History revealed that this was a failure. Woodrow Wilson
initiated the idea of a League but congress eventually rejected the
idea of America becoming part of this 'League' saying it was a
European problem and attempted to separate the League from the
treaties. In 1921 separate treaties were ratified between Germany,
Austria and Hungry but due to the missing cornerstone and hence the
initiator of the league, it was powerless and impotent; and again the
world was on the brink of war only 20 years later.

A fact that needs to be considered is that there hasn't been a major,
long running conflict between two democratic states since 1945 but
there have been many conflicts between authoritarian states. For
example the Iraq-Iran war and the ongoing conflict between Pakistan
and India, according to the definition of democracy reveal that
democracies are not hostile towards other democratic states. This may
be due to the fact that they are scared of each others military power
or of upsetting vital trade agreements or its allies. Roger masters
states that: "…the circumstances of human evolution suggest that some
kinds of political regimes - notably autocratic and totalitarian ones
- are unnatural and unjust. Conversely, regimes featuring
constitutional government, liberal freedoms, and democratic
participation are naturally unjust."[1] Therefore can we assume that
as authoritarian states are unjust they are more inclined to be
hostile and that democracies being just are less inclined? The
...

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