Democratic Peace Theory (Dpt)

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  • Topic: Democracy, War, Liberal democracy
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  • Published : March 6, 2013
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Democratic Peace Theory (DPT)
Introduction
Democratic Peace Theory (DPT) is a modern political theory which became popular among the democratic country to extend and promote their ideology that brings peace and prosperity for the nations. DPT was originated by Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, in the 1795, and it was scientifically evaluated on 1960s. DPT’s main principle say that, the democratic countries do not go to war against each other, for they have common ambitious hope and dream for the nations toward democracy. DPT says that the democratic countries go to war to prevent future war by converting nondemocratic countries to become democratic. It is said that DPT is the foreign policy of American and western democratic countries toward other non-democratic nations. However it has a great controversial debate on that whether the theory really works or not or right or wrong. The two sides try to prove the theory is right or wrong using the past events; and both have credible proves that support theirs believe. I cannot either agree or disagree that the theory is right or wrong since I believe that it depends on the situation and the meaning of how they define and approach the issues. I personally accept that many democratic countries do not fight each other, but I also think that not all the democratic countries are in peace with each other; which mean even two democratic countries are in conflict sometimes. Though I am totally mutual about the DPT, many countries strongly believe in and apply their foreign policy base on this democratic peace theory.

If we defined the DPT as involved full scale of warfare with more than 1500 causalities, then we can assume it is likely that the DPT is working; or is safe to assume that two democratic countries have never gone to war. For even though there are some minor wars between the two democratic countries in the history, but not the type of full scale wars with high casualties. Why democratic countries do not go on war against each other? Thomas Friedman (The Lexus and the Olive tree, 1999) said that “No two countries that both have McDonald’s had fought a war against each other since each got its McDonald’s.” There are some reasons that the two democratic countries do not go on war against each other. The first main reason why they don’t fight each other is because they fear that the destructions cause by the conflict or war may have negative impact on their economy. The citizen will oppose the war which cost people lives and the loss of livelihood. The politician has to listen to the public opinion since they are elected by the people. The common citizen has bitter experience of war and they will not be willing to go on war. The next reason is the democracy countries share the common values that respect people’s rights and liberty. They also share some common government system, political principle, social values, and etc. Therefore they tend to respect each other as they share similar value, they also have a better understanding toward each other, and easy to compromise. Another reason is when a country goes to war, and if it happens to lose the war the politician of that country are negatively affected and lose their popularity. The institutions that the democracy countries have such as court, parliament, and the social institutions are also the check and balance of the power and decision of the government concerning war.

The North America countries and the Western Europe are good models for the DPT as the peaceful region. They share some of the common liberal values, norm, and the mutual respect on the individual rights. They can easily compromises and settle any conflict among themselves without military confrontation or use of forces. Why do the democratic countries go to war with non-democratic?

One of the main principles of the DPT is going to war to prevent the future war by promoting democracy and peace. American and the western government claim...
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