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Democracy, Liberalism, and War: Rethinking the Democratic Peace Debates

Tarak Barkawi and Mark Laffey, editors
Democracy, Liberalism, and War: Rethinking the Democratic Peace Debates
ISBN: 978-1-55587-955-6
2001/237 pages/LC: 2001019384
Critical Security Studies
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"Indispensable reading for anyone interested in the full implications of the democratic peace debate....If we want to understand more fully how democracy, liberalism, and war are connected, the contributors to this volume are saying, we need research that is more theoretically ambitious and historically sensitive than most work on the topic has been to date."—David Dessler, American Political Science Review


The connection between liberalism and peace—and the reason why democratic countries appear not to go to war with each other—has become a dominant theme in international relations research. This book argues that scholars need to move beyond the "democratic peace debate" to ask more searching questions about the relationship of democracy, liberalism, and war.

The authors focus on the multiple and often contradictory ways in which liberalism, democracy, war, and peace interrelate. Acknowledging that a "zone of peace" exists, they concentrate on the particular historical and political contexts that make peace possible. This approach allows the redefinition of the democratic peace as a particular set of policies and claims to knowledge—a worldview that allows the continuation of violence against "nonliberal" others and the justification of extreme divisions of wealth and power in international society.


Tarak Barkawi is lecturer in international security at the Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge. Mark Laffey is lecturer in international relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is coeditor of Cultures of Insecurity: States, Communities, and the Production of Danger.


  • Introduction: The International Relations of Democracy, Liberalism, and War—the Editors.
  • Realist Spaces/Liberal Bellicosities: Reading the Democratic Peace as World Democratic Theory—D. Blaney.
  • State Identity and Interstate Practices: The Limits to Democratic Peace in South Asia—H. Muppidi.
  • Democracy and Ethnic War—M. Mann.
  • Military Professionalism and the Democratic Peace: How German Is It?—T.R.W. Kubik.
  • War Inside the Free World: The U.S. and the Cold War in the Third World—T. Barkawi.
  • Warfare, Security, and Democracy in East Asia—B. Cumings.
  • Democracy, Peace: What's Not to Love?—M. Rupert.
  • Democracy, Peace in the Global Revolution—M. Shaw.
  • The International Relations of Democracy, Liberalism, and War: Directions for Future Research—R. Duvall and J. Weldes.