Never at War: Why Democracies Will Not Fight One Another

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 1998 - History - 424 pages
3 Reviews
This lively survey of the history of conflict between democracies reveals a remarkable-and tremendously important-finding: fully democratic nations have never made war on other democracies. Furthermore, historian Spencer R. Weart concludes in this thought-provoking book, they probably never will. Building his argument on some forty case studies ranging through history from ancient Athens to Renaissance Italy to modern America, the author analyzes for the first time every instance in which democracies or regimes like democracies have confronted each other with military force. Weart establishes a consistent set of definitions of democracy and other key terms, then draws on an array of international sources to demonstrate the absence of war among states of a particular democratic type. His survey also reveals the new and unexpected finding of a still broader zone of peace among oligarchic republics, even though there are more of such minority-controlled governments than democracies in history. In addition, Weart discovers that peaceful leagues and confederations-the converse of war-endure only when member states are democracies or oligarchies. With the help of related findings in political science, anthropology, and social psychology, the author explores how the political culture of democratic leaders prevents them from warring against others who are recognized as fellow democrats and how certain beliefs and behaviors lead to peace or war. Weart identifies danger points for democracies, and he offers crucial, practical information to help safeguard peace in the future.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Rise - LibraryThing

The Discovery of Global Warming takes a historical perspective in presenting the global warming theory. First proposed as a theoretical concept in 1896, the idea of a warming atmosphere gradually ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - qebo - LibraryThing

As the author describes it: "The future actions we might take are not my subject. This book is a history of how we came to understand our present situation." He traces strands of inquiry that go back ... Read full review

Contents

Investigating the Puzzle of Democratic Peace
1
Ancient Greece Definitions and a Pattern of Peace
24
Medieval Italy Wars Without States
38
The Rise of Republican States Ideals and Alliances
56
The Political Culture of Peace
75
The Swiss Republics Defining an Enemy
94
Oligarchy Intervention and Civil War
113
Republics Versus Autocracies
135
Authoritarian Diplomacy
179
Republican Diplomacy
201
Imperialist Aggression by Democracies
220
Leagues of Republics
244
Crusading for Democracy
270
Military Confrontations Between Approximately Republican Regimes of the Same Kind
297
Notes
319
Index
413

WellEstablished Republics Versus Authoritarian Regimes
146
WellEstablished Republics Versus Newborn Republics
164

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1998)

Spencer R. Weart is Director Emeritus of the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics.

Bibliographic information