for a public debate, need for widespread support, all these slow the decision down. It reduces the
likelihood of a surprise attack. For Iraq, 6 months of an intense debate to go to war. Leaders of
democracies will expect in their relationship with other democracies, that these leaders are also
constrained. So time will be given for peaceful resolution. Likelihood of a surprise attack among
democracies is low because of constraint of a democratic regime. With Non democracies, that
does not apply the expectaiton that a dictatorship can decide to go to war immediately, the
possibility of a surprise attack is there. The room of maneuver, the time space does not exist
regarding dictatorship. The constraint of democracies about decisions to go to war are always
difficult to assess.
Running around the flag: the public, at large may embrace the prospect of a conflict/war. 1914:
mobilization embraced. National spirit may embrace conflict. Reaction in U.S after 9/11.
Key Argument of Owen(?): Importance of perception. What matters is how states perceive each
other. One country may be a democracy by objective standards (elections, checks and balances,
minimal institutional framework), but if that country is perceived as a non democracy by other
states, then the democratic peace argument is less likely to be at play. Liberal democracies must
consider foreign state to be part of the circle of liberal democracy. Perception among the players
that matter the most. Perception about democratic Russia is a key aspect for any relationship with
Moscow. Example: 19th Century American Vs. France/ Great Britain. Perception at that time,
were not related to liberal regimes. These countries did not look at themselves as part of
democracies. Which is why Democratic peace argument did not function. In the case of Franco-
German conflict in 1923, same applied. France did not recognize Germany as a democratic
nation. For french, Wilmar regime was already dead/irrelevant. Key aspect for democratic peace
theory to work; perception among state.
Realist counter Argument:
If democratic peace proposition is true, then their understanding of internal relations are wrong.
If nature of a regime is the crucial viable between relationship of states, then the international
system/core characteristics of Anarchy does not matter.
The counter argument:
1) Democratic peace theory is statistically insignificant. In history of the world, the democratic
peace theory does include very few cases. Liberal democracies are few. Any positive statistical
evidence that two democracies don’t fight each other, may be true, but they are insignificant.
Even if it’s true, it’s for different reasons, rather than the nature of the regime. Underline the
distance between two countries.
Debate about the role of models inside democratic peace. Realists will underline fact that the
pressure to convince public opinion and role of public opinion is more ambigious than the
democratic peace theory will tell. The fact that war is embraced by population (fact that
democracies are not by definition, more peaceful). Democratic societies can be as war prone as
any other regime, but the most important line is to underline other factors that explain peace.
Peace is not the monopoly of liberals.