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Democratic Peace Theory And Spread Of Democratization

4807 words - 20 pages

Table of Contents

4.3.1 CHINA 10
4.3.2 MIDDLE EAST 11

1 Introduction

In the last century the number of democracies in the world increased significantly (Smith & Hadfield & Dunne, 2008: 53). In 1900 just 14 countries could be described as democratic whereas 103 states have been liberated in 2000 (Smith, et al., 2008: 53). The ...view middle of the document...

The third section shows which avenues exist to spread democracy and which programs democratic countries establish. Finally, the last section will scrutinize the reasons for the restrained behaviour in spreading democracy in today’s world.

To examine the relations between all democratic countries to all-authoritarian countries would exceed the dimension of this assignment. Therefore, this work will concentrate on the United States of America and the European Union on the democratic side and on China and the Middle- East on the side of the authoritarians.
2 Democratic Peace Theory

The democratic peace theory can be described by two characteristics. The first one is that liberal states stay in a peaceful relationship (Sørensen, 1993: 93). The second thesis is, that the “relationship between liberal and non-liberal countries however is characterized by many conflicts” (Sørensen, 1993: 93). The assertion that democratic countries never fight against each other, was made first by the liberalist Emanuel Kant (Sørensen, 1993: 91). In Kant’s essay ‘Perpetual Peace’ from 1795 he gave inter alia the following reason for the assumption that liberal states be peaceful against each other (Sørensen, 1993: 91). On the one hand, Kant argued from the moral perspective (Sørensen, 1993: 91). Sørensen (1993: 91) suggests that democratic countries have similar morals and understandings of how to legitimate power. These understandings result from the scholarship of liberalism and the definition of democracy (Sørensen, 1993: 91).

The main idea of liberalism is “the freedom of the individual” (Smith et al, 2008: 50). According to Baylis & Smith (2005:186), Smith et al (2008:50) and Sørensen (1993:50) liberalism means the equality of all citizens, the freedom of press, speech and worship. Additionally, it stands for the protection of the private property and that the economy should be led by the market with no regulations (Baylis & Smith, 2005: 186). Finally, liberalists demand that the people rule the power of the state (Baylis, et al. 2005: 186). The last point mentioned connects the idea of liberalism with democracy. That means that democracy is a part as well as a requirement for liberalism.

Democracy means the rule of the people (Sørensen, 1993: 3). This derivation can be made because the term is a combination of the Greek words demos, which has the meaning “people” and kratos, which stands for “rule” (Sørensen, 1993: 3). However, although this is the most significant characteristic of democracy, there are other important features. The research has shown, that a single definition does not exist. Nevertheless, a summary of the most common features of democracy can be found in Sørensen (1993: 13). There democracy is described with competition, political participation and civil and political liberties (Sørensen, 1993: 13). Competition signifies that groups, especially political parties, and individuals are content with the positions of governmental...

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