Democracy is characterized by freedom and equality and refers to a government form where all citizens are the same before the law, and equally have a say in matters that impact their lives. This paper discusses the opinions of Bruce Russett and realists regarding the war-proneness of democracies.
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Russett’s Position on Whether Democracies Are More Or Less War-Prone than Other Government Systems
Russett, in his book Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World, asserts that democratically governed nations rarely fight with one another. This happens because they perceive that fighting amongst them is pointless since there are other methods of resolving conflicts peacefully (Russett 4). Therefore, according to Russett (4), democracies are less war-prone than other government systems. This means that the higher the number of democratic countries there are worldwide, the broader the peace zone, and the fewer the probable wars we are likely to witness. The vision of having peace amongst democracies has long been called upon as part of a broad structure of practices and institutions aimed at promoting peace between nation-states. Harvey (41-59) also shared Russett's stance maintaining that democracies are less likely to be involved in wars compared to autocratically governed countries.
A Realist’s Response to the above Essay
A realist is any person who is inclined to the truth, views things the way they are, and deals with them practically (The Free Dictionary 1). With regard to the war-proneness of democracies, a realist would agree with Russett’s argument that democracies are less war-prone in comparison to other government systems. This is because they have institutions put in place specifically to encourage peace, as well as methods of conflict resolution in case of disputes amongst them. This has significantly helped in reducing possible wars among democracies.
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