POLS 3490 October 31 2013
POLS 3490, October 31 2013, Conflict and Conflict Resolution
Democracy as a Balm (Bomb?) for Peace
Questions on Democracy and Violence (same questions stated differently
1) Is democracy (or lack thereof) a source of conflict?
a. Do people fight war because there is no democracy?
2) Is democracy a source of peace?
a. If a country has elections is there peace?
3) If democracy is a source of peace or an effective form of conflict management,
is it possible for outsiders to bring democracy to post- conflict states
Marina Ottaway on Democracy
- It is generally accepted —it is “axiomatic”— that democracy is the only
“acceptable” form of government. Something that is “axiomatic” is a self
evident or widely accepted principle
- “Well- established, mature democratic political systems are usually
successful in handling the normal divisions and conflicting interests of a
stable society by fostering compromise rather than confrontation.”
Democracy and Peace
“Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been
In a democratic country, there is less need to resort to force when points of view can
be expressed through a democratic vote, through a free press. Why resort to
violence when political objectives can be met through negotiation, compromises and
other peaceful means?
Paul Collier on Democracy…
Collier says that “full democratic rights are an effective means of reducing the risk of