To what extent are non-democratic leaders more prone to war?  
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To what extent are non-democratic leaders more prone to war?  . The big questions: Why don’t advanced democracies fight each other? Why do democracies fight non-democracies with the same frequency and non-democracy vs. non democracy wars occur?

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To what extent are non-democratic leaders more prone to war?  

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To what extent are non democratic leaders more prone to war

To what extent are non-democratic leaders more prone to war?  


To what extent are non democratic leaders more prone to war

The big questions:

Why don’t advanced democracies fight each other?

Why do democracies fight non-democracies with the same frequency and non-democracy vs. non democracy wars occur?

Why do democracies fight less violent wars? Even when they lose or fight to a draw?

Why do democracies almost always win?

And… of course… what role does political leadership play in all of this.


What is the democratic peace thesis

WHAT IS THE DEMOCRATIC PEACE THESIS?

Democracies are less violent to other countries:


What is the democratic peace thesis1

WHAT IS THE DEMOCRATIC PEACE THESIS?

Democracies are less violent to their own populations:


Why might we expect democratic leaders to fight wars just like non democrats

WHY MIGHT WE EXPECT DEMOCRATIC LEADERS TO FIGHT WARS JUST LIKE NON-DEMOCRATS?

Or put another way: Do leaders even matter when it comes to what governs do on core security matters?

What does “realism” tell us about how and when democracies should fight?

Anarchy and self-help: What does Thomas Hobbes tell us about how nice guys act when confronted with a prisoner’s dilemma?

Rousseau: The structure of the United Nations and the limits of intl. law will help us some day, but until

French and American models of foreign vs. domestic presidencies: We’ve built in less democracy on war powers


Why might we expect democratic leaders to fight wars just like non democrats1

WHY MIGHT WE EXPECT DEMOCRATIC LEADERS TO FIGHT WARS JUST LIKE NON-DEMOCRATS?

Why do the hawks win even in democracies? (Kalhneman and Renshon)

People, in general, exaggerate their strengths and abilities… Wouldn’t democratic leaders be more prone to this?

People, by nature, exaggerate the evil intentions and purposefulness of adversaries? Why might this be expected to impact non-democrats less?


Why might we expect democratic leaders to fight wars just like non democrats2

WHY MIGHT WE EXPECT DEMOCRATIC LEADERS TO FIGHT WARS JUST LIKE NON-DEMOCRATS?

Why do the hawks win even in democracies? (Kalhneman and Renshon)

The illusion of control: Why would democrats think that they control outcomes well beyond their control.

Why might democrats be more likely to double down?-Option A: A sure loss of $500-Option B: A 75% chance of losing 1K, 25% chance of losing nothing

Electoral cycles and pressures to win quickly

The ability to control the costs of losing


Why might democratic leaders act differently when it comes to war

WHY MIGHT DEMOCRATIC LEADERS ACT DIFFERENTLY WHEN IT COMES TO WAR?

Do democracies care more about what the world thinks?

Kant and Wilson talked about the international community and norms… there’s very little evidence that this works out in practice. In fact, non-democratic leaders are in a much better position to honor their intl. promises

Should we go to war for Australia?

What does the track-record of the League of Nations (collective security) and the United Nations (a great powers concert) tell us?

So, why might democracies actually be less inclined to come to the cause of weak states and neighbors (nationalism, ethnocentrism, and the domestic focus)… even if they are democratic, too?


Why might democratic leaders act differently when it comes to war1

WHY MIGHT DEMOCRATIC LEADERS ACT DIFFERENTLY WHEN IT COMES TO WAR?

Do democrats have to be more worried about voters and historical legacies?

The political calculus of war for democrats: What happens when you lose a war that in retrospect you perhaps shouldn’t have fought (GW Bush); what happens when you win one (Churchill and HW Bush)?

Lesson 1: Don’t fight wars you can’t win because there are high electoral costs

Lesson 2: There is a very small and time limited pay off if you do win a war

What unique time constrains do democrats face? Why do they end wars earlier and with lower human cost?

Democrats face guns and butter tradeoffs and their broad selectorate suffers

Election cycles put pressure to end wars quickly and cleanly

War weariness and information flow: Democrats face intense pressures to end wars with body counts increasing

Surrendering to democracies is easier for enemy populations because they believe that they will be treated ethically.

Why are democrats less likely to engage in wars of scapegoating? Open flows of information and having a vocal opposition makes it hard to get away with efforts to fight wars just to try to increase a leader’s popularity


Why might democratic leaders act differently when it comes to war2

WHY MIGHT DEMOCRATIC LEADERS ACT DIFFERENTLY WHEN IT COMES TO WAR?

How do democratic political systems impact leaders and war?

Democracies rarely pick folks who are highly interested in seeking out international conflict, but the military is a key constituent in other regime types

On the other hand, democratic leaders have to (and are better able to because of their selection criteria) make a strong initial case to their populations so they tend to: 1) fight very intensely when they go to warand 2) get better troop behavior and performanceand 3) maximally prepare, which is good if things go on a long time

Democratic leaders do not have the option of surprise attacks, but they tend to get much better information as wars go on (because of a free press and the fact that ruthless leaders have a high degree of group think)


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