Democratic peace theory - the argument that democracies very rarely go to war with each other - has come under attack recently for being too naive and for neglecting the vast amount of wars fought by democracies, especially since the end of the Cold War. This volume offers a fresh perspective by arguing that the same norms that are responsible for the democratic peace can be argued to be responsible for democratic war-proneness. The authors show that democratic norms, which are usually understood to cause peaceful behaviour, are heavily contested when dealing with a non-democratic other. The book thus integrates democratic peace and democratic war into one consistent theoretical perspective, emphasising the impact of national identity. The book concludes by arguing that all democracies have a 'weak spot' where they would be willing to engage militarily.
Anna Geis is Professor of International Relations at the University of Magdeburg, Germany. Harald Muller is Executive Director of the Peace Research Institute, Frankfurt (PRIF) and Professor of International Relations at Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany. Niklas Schoernig is a Senior Research Fellow at the Peace Research Institute, Frankfurt (PRIF).
Part I. Introduction: 1. Investigating 'democratic wars' as the flipside of 'democratic peace' Anna Geis and Harald Muller; 2. The empirical study of 'democratic wars': methodology and methods Niklas Schoernig, Harald Muller and Anna Geis; Part II. Opting In, Opting Out: Liberal Democracies and War: 3. The United States: the American way of leading the world into democratic wars Stephanie Sohnius; 4. 'The right thing to do'? British interventionism after the Cold War Marco Fey; 5. 'O ally, stand by me': Australia's ongoing balancing act between geography and history Niklas Schoernig; 6. Canada: standing on guard for international law and human security? Una Becker-Jakob; 7. French ambiguities: of civilising, diplomatic and military missions Johanna Eckert; 8. Burdens of the past, shadows of the future: the use of military force as a challenge for the German 'civilian power' Anna Geis; 9. Moving beyond neutrality: Sweden's changing attitude towards the military use of force Carmen Wunderlich; Part III. Conclusion: 10. Liberal democracies as militant 'forces for good': a comparative perspective Anna Geis, Harald Muller and Niklas Schoernig; 11. The appropriateness of the liberal use of force: 'democratic wars' under US hegemony Anna Geis and Harald Muller; Appendix: methodology.