Participation in the conflict

After noting that democracies as much as possible will not engage themselves in war, then how did it happen that there are still wars fought by democratic states? Rummel also noted that the cause of these wars is the right for voting, or most of them fight for a specific right of freedom – which is one of the defining characteristics of democratic nations (www. freeforessays. com). Also, some of their participation in the conflict, are only responses to the pressure on non-democratic.

For example, the participation of Finland in World War I is only a result of the pressure of Russia. Gladly, in the end, its declaration of war is only a sign of formality since it never sent any troop at all. Here we can say that Finland has no engagement in the war at all. Another reason of their participation is to protect weaker nations against the hands of totalitarians. Germany, as an illustration took an invasion on a small state that is a colony of Russia because Germany wanted to protect the small state against the purpose of Russia in spreading its power.

The good thing about that event is when Germany arrived at the small state, they were applauded by the citizens there showing that their warm welcome (Gieseler, www. unc. edu). It must be taken into caution that having no war does not mean any conflict at all. There are conflicts between two democracies maybe because of differences in their perceptions or views that are influenced by culture. Well, another good thing about democratic states is that when they are involved in conflict, they are more likely to make negotiations rather than to make declaration of war.

This, according to Rummel is the second level explanation of the peaceful nature of the relationship of democratic states; the first-level is the fact that democratic states do not want to engage themselves in war. The compromising and the negotiating method are brought by virtues earned and learned through living in democracy (Carpenter, www. hawaii. edu). Maybe, this proves that during conflicts against two democracies, there are no or only a few casualties or it will not exceed a number say 1000, that’s why there are no reported war against two democracies in the research done by Rudy Rummel.

More often, the behavior of one nation during wartime is linked with how the executives see his constituents. Democratic leaders cannot readily decide on declaring a war since the power is not only with him, it is again decentralized and won by majority. Unlike the totalitarian, every constituent in a democratic society is treated with equal importance and hence though it is heroic for a citizen to sacrifice his or her life for the state, still, the executive cannot readily declare a war and let his people make a bloody fight against the opponent.

Democratic leaders will only resort on sacrificing his people if all other alternatives are exhausted. Some would say that this action is disadvantageous – to act late during wartime is giving the opponent enough time to strategize (www. unis. unvienna. org). Some would also believe that this is advantageous because the delay of action would help to prevent the appraisal from conflict to war (www. spiritus-temporis. com). The fact however is result of the difference in the ideology of democratic and non-democratic leaders.

This again is an end product of mechanism of politics in the society. Since leaders in the democratic states are elected, they tend to empathize more on his constituents and act for the benefit of the majority than having the pride of entering and taking the victory in war. On the other hand, non-democratic leaders can forcefully and passively make decisions since its main concern is its state. The cause of such differences in the behavior of leaders can further be understood by knowing the third-level explanation of Rummel.

Since we are always talking about the influence of culture in having relationships with other entities, then Rummel explanation will be more sociological in basis. His reasoning is somewhat similar to the law in biology, the “unity in diversity”. He said that people who are living in a state with democracy as its form of government has been greatly affected by the rules and structures that are inherent in the government system He mentioned a “social field” in which every member feels a sense of importance as a member and thus, he is more likely to be a part and not the holder of power as in the totalitarian does.

The point of his third-level explanation is that when people learned that take part for the improvement, then he, in any of his relationship will also carry on the value of sharing and the responsibility taught of him by living in the state with democracy (Carpenter, www. hawaii. edu). The last maybe, and as an additional argument, democracies has stability in politics. The electoral process permits a regular man to say yes to programs that he thinks is beneficial and says no to the programs that he thinks is not transparent or will only be a source of greed for the executive.

The people also can impeach the executive if in any case they see that he or she is not working well (www. spiritus-temporis. com). Hence, a change in any of the political process without changing the form of government gives democratic states political stability. In the end, the answer to the inquiry on the peaceful nature of the relationship between two democracies can be summarized to few arguments. First, democracies in any way will not allow themselves to be engaged in war. In any case that they cannot prevent it, then they are likely to resort on negotiation.

Second, the culture that has been established through the life lived in democratic states results to many characteristics that democratic leaders and its constituents can use as a tool for having a peaceful relationship with others. Lastly, democratic signifies peace so how can we detach one from another. The history of man has gone so long and many forms of government had been established. The nice thing, which remains still applicable, is the Democratic Peace theory of Kant. If only we can be all democratic, then as Kant suggested, the world will be have less violence.


Carpenter, Ted Galen. REVIEW ESSAY: Democracy and War. Retrieved November 29, 2007 from http://www. hawaii. edu/powerkills/PK. REV. TGC. HTM Democratic Peace. (November 2007). Retrieved November 29 2007 from http://freedomspeace. blogspot. com/ Democratic War or Democratic Peace. Retrieved November 19, 2007 from http://www. spiritus-temporis. com/democracy/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-democracy. html Gieseler, Steven Geoffrey. Debate on the Democratic Peace: A Review. Retrieved November 29, 2007 from http://www. unc. edu/depts/diplomat/archives_roll/2004_01-03/gieseler_debate/gieseler_debate. html