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E.D. Mansfield & Jack Snyder, “Democratization and the Danger of War,” International Security 20(1) (1995): 5-38

Political Science
Course Code
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

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Democratization – Study Guide
Democratizing states are more likely to fight wars than are mature democracies or stable
Anocracies: political systems in which democratic and autocratic features are mixed, o in which
very little power is concentrated in the hands of public authorities
The strength of the relationship between democratization and war varies depending on the length
of time that is analyzed
In the initial stages of expanding poltical participation, strong barriers prevent the emergence of
full-fledged democratic processes and the foreign policy outcomes associated with them. The
two main barriers are the weakness of democratic institutions (due to “transaction costs {pg20}
& collective action issues) and the resistance of social groups who would be the losers in process
of full-fledged democratization
In newly democratizing states without strong parties, independent courts, a free press, and
untainted electoral procedures, there is no reason to expect that mass politics will produce the
same impact on foreign policy as it does in mature democracies.
Praetorian society is where pressure for participation are strong but institutions for effective
participation are weak (decisions being made somewhere else rather than through the ballot box)
Many of the groups with an interest in retarding democratization are also those with a parochial
interest in was, military preparation, empire, and protectionism
The situation of social change, institutional weakness, and threatened interests tend to produce a
political impasse towards democracy; it is difficult to form coalitions with coherent policy
platforms or get enough support to stay in power. This causes short run thinking and reckless
policymaking that lead to war, occur for four reasons:
-Widening the political spectrum (different people with different views)
-Inflexible interests and short term horizons (groups threatened by social change and
democratization, (elites) are often compelled to take very inflexible views of their
own interests, especially when their assets can’t be readily adapted to changing
political and economic conditions.
-Competitive mass mobilization
-The weakening of central authority
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