There is continued discussion in International Relations surrounding the existence (or not) of the 'democratic peace' - the idea that democracies do not fight each other. This book argues that threats to homeland territories force centralization within the state, for three reasons. First, territorial threats are highly salient to individuals, and leaders must respond by promoting the security of the state. Second, threatened territories must be defended by large, standing land armies and these armies can then be used as forces for repression during times of peace. Finally, domestic political bargaining is dramatically altered during times of territorial threat, with government opponents joining the leader in promoting the security of the state. Leaders therefore have a favorable environment in which to institutionalize greater executive power. These forces explain why conflicts are associated with centralized states, and in turn why peace is associated with democracy.
Douglas M. Gibler is Professor of Political Science at the University of Alabama. He has published articles in journals including the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the Journal of Peace Research and the Journal of Politics. His research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation and the Folke Bernadotte Academy and in 2008 he was named a fellow by the H. F. Guggenheim Foundation.
1. Introduction; Part I. International Borders: 2. Territorial issues and international conflict; 3. Individual, state, and territorial issues; Part II. State Development: 4. Territorial threats and political behaviour; 5. Territorial threats, standing armies, and state repression; 6. Territorial threats and domestic institutions; Part III. The Territorial Peace: 7. Territorial peace among neighbours; 8. Territorial peace and negotiated compromises; 9. Territorial peace and victory in conflict; 10. Final thoughts.