Democracy and War. Democracy and War: The Data.
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“[D]emocratizing states were more likely to fight wars than were states that had under gone no change in regime. This relationship is weakest one year into democratization and strongest at ten years. During any given ten-year period, a state experiencing no regime chnage had about one chance in six of fighting a war in the following decade. IN the decade following democratization, a state’s chance of fighting a war was about one in four.”
“On average, an increase in the openness of the selection process for the chief executive doubled the likelihood of war.”
“Increasing the competitiveness of political participation or increasing the constraints on a country’s chief executive (both aspects of democratization) also made war more likely. On average, these changes increased the likelihood of war by about 90% and 35% respectively.”
“States changing from a mixed regime to democracy were on average about 50% more likely to become engaged in war (and about two-thirds more likely to go to war with another nation-state) than states that remained mixed regimes.”
“The effect was greater still for those states making the largest leap, from full autorcracy to high levels of democracy. Such states were on average about 2/3rds more likely to become involved in any type of war (and about twice as likely to become involved in an interstate war) than states that remained autocracies.”
“The most important instruments are political, economic, and social reforms that redress popular grievances such as poverty, inequality, corruption, and physical insecurity. Control of access to population is also important, both to allow recruitment and implementation of reform promoises, and to block the enemy from these tasks.”
“Once the conflict reaches the level of large-scale violence, tales of atrocities -- true or invented -- perpetuated or planned against members of the roup by the ethnic enemy provide hard-liners with an unanswerable argument.”
“Second, and more important, identity is often imposed by the opposing group, specifically by its most murderous members.”
“[C]ombatants in ethnic wars are much less free to decline unfavorable battles because they cannot afford to abandon any settlement to an enemy who is likely to ‘cleanse’ it by massacre, expulsion, destruction of homes, and possibly colonization.”
“In ethnic civil wars, military operations are decisive. Attrition matters because the side’s mobilization pools are separate and can be depleted. Most important, since each side’s mobilization base is limited to members of its own community in friendly-controlled territory, conquering the enemy’s population centers reduces its mobilization base, while loss of friendly settlements reduces one’s own.
“Since well-defined fronts are impossible, there is no effects means of defense against such raids. Accordingly, each side has a strong incentive -- at both national and local levels -- to kill or drive out enemy populations before the enemy does the same to it, as well as to creat homogeneous enclaves more practical to defend.”
“[O]nce communites are mobilized for violence, the reality of mutual security threats prevents both demobilization and de-escalation of hypernationalist discourse. Thus, lasting peace requires removal of the security dilemma. The most effective and in many cases the only way to do this is to separate the ethnic groups. The more intense the violence, the more likely it is that separation will be the only option...” [emphasis added]
Ethnic wars can end in only three ways:
“Humanitarian intervention to establish lasting safety for peoples endangters by ethnic civil wars is feasible, but only if the internation acommunity is prepared to recognize that some shattered states cannot be restored, and that population transfers are sometimes necessary.”