The United States Illogical Practice of Democratic Peace Theory in the Middle East

The United States Illogical Practice of Democratic Peace Theory in the Middle East

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The idea of a lasting, ideally global, peace has been present in the minds of people for centuries. The most notable formulation of this is Kant’s vision of perpetual peace. “He saw it as a condition that needed to be maintained by politics between states with governments which represented society and separation of power. From this basic framework stems the idea called “democratic peace theory” (pg. 82). Democratic Peace Theory (DPT) asserts that democracies do not generally fight other democracies because they share common norms and domestic institutions that constrain international, state actors from going to war. Sebastian Rosato states, “In practical terms democratic peace theory provides the intellectual justification for the belief that spreading democracy abroad will perform the dual task of enhancing American national security promoting world peace” (pg. 585).
DPT is not only a fallacy, but it does not even begin to understand and contain modern day terrorism. Democratic Peace Theory sounds brilliant on paper, but when closely inspected, its deceptive nature and apparent simplicity becomes evident. One issue that currently divides many experts is the question of defining democracy and liberalism. Furthermore, there is no concise understanding of liberalism and democracy. Democratic peace theory fails to account for human behavior and perception. This is especially crucial when understanding terrorism at its core. This essay proposes certain systemic flaws in Democratic Peace Theory, such as Rosato states, “Democracies do not generally fight other democracies is a false premise; Democracies do not disseminate their norms of domestic politics and conflict resolution, and consequentially the do not respect each other when t...


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...tlieb. Washington, D.C.:
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Kant, Immanuel Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch, 1795 via http://www.mtholyoke.edu/
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Locke, John, and Peter Laslett. Two Treatises of Government. Cambridge [England: Cambridge
University Press, 1988. Print.
Owen, John M. “How Liberalism Produces Democratic Peace,” in International Security, Vol.
19, No. 2, Autumn, 1994.
Posen, Barry. "Nationalism, the Mass Army, and Military Power." International Security 18
(1993): 80-124. Print.
ROSATO, SEBASTIAN. "The Flawed Logic of Democratic Peace Theory." American Political
Science Review 97.4 (2003): 585-602. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3593025. Web.
8 Aug. 2012.
Sixty-Fifth Congress, 1 Session, Senate Document No. 5. Via.
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/4943/, accessed on 5th November, 2013

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