Does Democracy Bring Peace? Paper Example

Published: 2023-10-10
Does Democracy Bring Peace? Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Politics United States Democracy American culture
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 914 words
8 min read

Democracy is the rule by people, with people, and for people. Democratic states embrace the rule of law and public participation in decision-making. It protects the rights of citizens and gives them the freedom to exist mutually and peacefully with one another (MacMillan, 2004). The democratic peace theory postulates that democratic states do not go to battle against each other. Therefore, democracy brings peace to states, regions, and the whole world. The eminent peace in democratic states can be explained in the following two ways.

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Institutional Explanation

Democracies have institutional constraints that reinforce peace in their dealings. Democracies have established checks and balances through the separation of powers to avoid misuse of power by one arm of the government. Democratic states have three arms of government, including the executive, legislature, and judiciary, each having specific roles and responsibilities. The constitution keeps the three arms of government separate and ensures the legitimacy of separation of powers. The three arms of the government provide checks and balances in the following ways. The legislature makes laws and regulations while the executive through the President can veto those laws through the Presidential Veto. At the same time, the judiciary can render those laws unconstitutional (Kant, Emmanuel1975). Apart from that, the legislature can override the Presidential Veto using enough votes. For this reason, the President in a democratic state cannot wage war against another country if the action is not supported by the legislature and the judiciary. Therefore, the checks and balances in democracies discourage unnecessary wars between democratic states.

Another form of the institutional constraint to war in democratic states is the need for public debate. The citizens of democracies believe in the power of peaceful means of resolving conflicts. Given that democratic leadership is the rule of people, by people, and for people, the government will have to act in the interest of its citizens by settling disputes through peaceful means. The need for public debate, therefore, constrains the decision to war, giving governments sufficient time to resolve conflicts through peaceful means. When conflict arises between two democracies, the leaders of those two states will be reluctant to waging war against each other because of the institutional constraints present in the governing system. Therefore, democracy brings peace to countries that adopt it for governance.

The Cultural Explanation

Decision-makers in democratic states follow the norms of peaceful conflict resolutions. Democracies uphold the values of peace and harmony. At home, democratic states solve conflicts peacefully with their citizens. The same culture of peace is also likely to prevail when resolving conflicts across borders (Bala & Jannat, 2019). One reason why a democratic state may prefer peaceful conflict resolution is that they expects that the other democratic state will also use peaceful methods of resolving conflicts. For example, the United States is aware and expects that democratic states such as Canada would go by peaceful conflict resolution, including debates, negotiations, and diplomacy instead of waging war (Kant, Emmanuel 1975). Given that countries share common interests, tastes, and preferences, they will most likely be at peace with one another.

Democratic countries cannot expect dictatorial states to embrace peaceful strategies for resolving conflicts. Dictatorial states use thoracic means of solving conflicts. Internal conflicts by citizens in dictatorial states meet very harsh methods of government intervention. For example, citizens protesting against the government may experience torture, beatings, arrests, getting thrown into labor camps, and sometimes being killed. No peaceful means of conflict resolution is preferable by dictatorial governments. Given that dictatorial states cannot promote peace in resolving internal conflict, they cannot do so even when solving international conflicts. Therefore, democracies may decide to get to war only to promote peace and freedom of people.

Liberal democracies promote peace because they believe that individuals need peace to attain the freedom they need. In a country where there are conflicts, strife, and internal disagreements, people are restrained by war from enjoying their freedoms. People must stay in peaceful places to enjoy their freedoms (Kant, Emmanuel 1975). Democracies value the rights and freedoms of people, therefore, promoting peace becomes necessary for the sake of the constitutional provisions. However, the promotion of peace among democracies does not mean that they cannot decide to wage battles. Democracies may go to war if the action will safeguard human freedoms and promote peace. Therefore, wars should be fought to retain freedom and promote peace.

Some researchers claim that peace among democratic states is as a result of the Cold War Phenomenon. For example, the democratic states did not fight against each other during the cold war because they saw the Soviet Union as a threat (Bala & Jannat, 2019). Therefore, they united with each other to enable them to protect themselves from the bigger threat. However, the claim is not correct because democracies have a natural culture of peaceful conflict resolution.


Democratic states do not go for war with each other due to many reasons. The institutional constraints such as separation of power to ensure proper checks and balances and the need for public participation may slow down the decision for waging war. Apart from that, the peaceful culture and expectations of decision-makers in democratic countries promote peace among democracies. For that reason, democracy brings peace both to the country and abroad.


Bala, S., & Jannat, J. (2019). Democracy and Peace. In OF NY2019 NEW YORK CONFERENCES (p. 46).

Kant, Emmanuel. (1975). Democratic Peace Theory. (n.d.). Powerpoint presentation

MacMillan, J. (2004). Whose Democracy; Which Peace? Contextualizing the Democratic Peace. International Politics, 41(4), 472-493.

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