Democracy and Integration: Why Democracies Don't Fight Each Other

Journal article

Starr, Harvey (1997) Democracy and Integration: Why Democracies Don't Fight Each Other, Journal of Peace Research 34 (2): 153–162.

While a large and growing literature has emerged which investigates the impact of the expansion of democracy on foreign policy and international politics, much of it has been characterized by insufficient attention to theoretical and conceptual clarity. To address such problems, this article is an exercise in concept clarification. It stresses that the democratic peace is a subset of the processes and results of integration, that it fits within an integration framework, and that it works according to processes already identified by integration theory which permits the synthesis of a number of contending explanations for the democratic peace. As part of this argument, the article also stresses the transparent nature of democracy, emphasizing the importance of the mutual perceptions of two democracies, that the other is clearly a democracy. Finally, this article reminds scholars that the focus of the democratic peace proposition is on war. While it is important to explore our theories in terms of their extension to other conflictual phenomena, we must be careful in specifying exactly what these relationships should look like.

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