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Democracy and War

Democracy and War

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Democracy and War

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  1. Democracy and War

  2. Democracy and War: The Data “[D]emocratizing states were more likely to fight wars than were states that had under gone no change in regime. This relationship is weakest one year into democratization and strongest at ten years. During any given ten-year period, a state experiencing no regime chnage had about one chance in six of fighting a war in the following decade. IN the decade following democratization, a state’s chance of fighting a war was about one in four.”

  3. Democracy and War: The Data “On average, an increase in the openness of the selection process for the chief executive doubled the likelihood of war.”

  4. Democracy and War: The Data “Increasing the competitiveness of political participation or increasing the constraints on a country’s chief executive (both aspects of democratization) also made war more likely. On average, these changes increased the likelihood of war by about 90% and 35% respectively.”

  5. Democracy and War: The Data “States changing from a mixed regime to democracy were on average about 50% more likely to become engaged in war (and about two-thirds more likely to go to war with another nation-state) than states that remained mixed regimes.”

  6. Democracy and War: The Data “The effect was greater still for those states making the largest leap, from full autorcracy to high levels of democracy. Such states were on average about 2/3rds more likely to become involved in any type of war (and about twice as likely to become involved in an interstate war) than states that remained autocracies.”

  7. Democracy & War: Explanations • Political Stalement and Imperialist Coalitions • Democratization expands the pool of participants • Expanded pool increases potential for conflict • Political deadlock results in aggression directed outward (interstate conflict) to deflect tension or inward (intrastate conflict) if conflict becomes irreconcilable

  8. Democracy & War: Explanations • Inflexible Interests and Short Term Horizons • Groups/interests threatened by democratic changes may push back to defend their positions • In move from autocratic regimes, many of these entrenched interests will be military or other elites • May trade short time gain (staving off political change) for long term costs of delaying democratization and/or risks of warfare

  9. Democracy & War: Explanations • Competition for Popular Support • New elites emerging in democratization process will reach out to masses for support • “Old” elites likewise will turn to masses for protection from change • Mobilization of masses may release forces that are ill controlled and potentially violent

  10. Democracy & War: Explanations • Weakening of Central Authority • Atrophy of existing (autocratic) authority limits ability for state to contain political instability • Democratic institutions may not be sufficiently strong to contain political instability, and may exacerbate that instability • Existing authority makes nationalist appeals to mobilize and contain the masses, but at longterm costs

  11. Democracy & War: Explanations • Prestige Strategies • Newly installed but still weak transitional regimes in democratizing countries may use war to temporarily increase prestige and contain mass mobilization • Temptation to use war to boost support at home

  12. Ethnic Wars • Ethnic conflicts are “disputes between communities which see themselvves as having distinct heritages, over the power relationship between the communities” • Ideological conflicts are “contests between factions within the same community over how that community should be governed.”

  13. Ethnic Wars • Key difference is flexibility of participants • Flexibility opens up the possibility of negotiation and conflict resolution • Ideological disputes are flexible (people can change their views/opinions/positions) • Ethnic disputes are rigid (people cannot easily change their identity and loyalties)

  14. Ethnic Wars • Ideological identity, unlike ethnic identity, is relatively “soft” • meaning people can and often do change their positions and views • Religious identity, is a bit harder than ideological, in that change is possible but usually entails some sort of ritualized or formal acceptance of the new faith

  15. Ethnic Wars • Ethnic identity is “hard” • requires changing language, culture, and religion • and parentage (which can’t be changed)

  16. Ethnic Wars • Ideological conflict involves struggles between a government and an insurgent force or forces for the “hearts and minds” of the masses • Because ideological identity is fluid, such appeals make tactical and logical sense

  17. Ethnic Wars “The most important instruments are political, economic, and social reforms that redress popular grievances such as poverty, inequality, corruption, and physical insecurity. Control of access to population is also important, both to allow recruitment and implementation of reform promoises, and to block the enemy from these tasks.”

  18. Ethnic Wars • But because ethnic identity is hard, these sorts of wars are very different • “Individual loyalties are both rigid and transparent, while each side’s mobilization base is limited to members of its own group in friendly-controlled territory. The result is that enthnic conflicts are primarily military struggles in which victory depends on physical control over the disputed territory, not on appeals to members of the other group”

  19. Ethnic Wars • Because ethnic identity is established by birth, appeals across ethnic lines for support make little tactical or rational sense • Few people take up arms against their own group in an ethnic conflict • Ethnicity trumps class/ideology in these disputes

  20. Ethnic Wars • Ethnic disputes are difficult to resolve because leaders cannot make appeals across ethnic divide once it’s opened • As conflict escalates and endures, the animosity and hatred necessary to sustain it make it increasingly difficult to broker a peaceful resolution

  21. Ethnic Wars “Once the conflict reaches the level of large-scale violence, tales of atrocities -- true or invented -- perpetuated or planned against members of the roup by the ethnic enemy provide hard-liners with an unanswerable argument.”

  22. Ethnic Wars “Second, and more important, identity is often imposed by the opposing group, specifically by its most murderous members.” • Assimilation is no protection, and passivity of limited effect, from the violence • The “victim” group needs to organize, arm, and resist, which of course further extends the conflict

  23. Ethnic Wars • In these conflicts, territorial control becomes the key to success • “Unlike ideological insurgents, who often evade rather than risk battle, or a counter-insurgent government, which might forgear to attack rather than risk bombarding civilians, ethnic combatants must fight for every piece of land....”

  24. Ethnic Wars “[C]ombatants in ethnic wars are much less free to decline unfavorable battles because they cannot afford to abandon any settlement to an enemy who is likely to ‘cleanse’ it by massacre, expulsion, destruction of homes, and possibly colonization.”

  25. Ethnic Wars “In ethnic civil wars, military operations are decisive. Attrition matters because the side’s mobilization pools are separate and can be depleted. Most important, since each side’s mobilization base is limited to members of its own community in friendly-controlled territory, conquering the enemy’s population centers reduces its mobilization base, while loss of friendly settlements reduces one’s own.

  26. Ethnic Wars • Once a state is no longer able to protect,, or is perceived to be no longer able to protect, ethnic groups, “each community must mobilize to take responsibility for its own security.” • But note, that each side’s “security” is going to be a threat to the other groups

  27. Ethnic Wars • Under these conditions, escalation is more likely • Winding down the violence means finding ways to address the security concerns of the groups involved • This in turn means finding ways to strengthen the state

  28. Ethnic Wars • Security threats are directly correlated with integration of the ethnic groups • The greater the integration, the greater the threat

  29. Ethnic Wars “Since well-defined fronts are impossible, there is no effects means of defense against such raids. Accordingly, each side has a strong incentive -- at both national and local levels -- to kill or drive out enemy populations before the enemy does the same to it, as well as to creat homogeneous enclaves more practical to defend.”

  30. Ethnic Wars: Endgame • Conversely, security can be increased with relative homogenous territory with well defined demographic fronts • Ethnic separation is then one of the prerequisites for peace (it is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition)

  31. Ethnic Wars: Endgame “[O]nce communites are mobilized for violence, the reality of mutual security threats prevents both demobilization and de-escalation of hypernationalist discourse. Thus, lasting peace requires removal of the security dilemma. The most effective and in many cases the only way to do this is to separate the ethnic groups. The more intense the violence, the more likely it is that separation will be the only option...” [emphasis added]

  32. Ethnic Wars: Endgame • Suppression • Complete victory of one side over the other • Reconstruction of Ethnic Identities • Attempt to rebuild by forging common national identity distinct from, but built on, the underlying ethnic diversity

  33. Ethnic Wars: Endgame • Power sharing • “Consociational democracy” • Joint exercise of governmental power among the relevant ethnic groups • proportional distribution of government funds and jobs • autonomy on ethnic issues • minority veto on issues of vital importance to each group

  34. Ethnic Wars: Endgame Ethnic wars can end in only three ways: • complete victory of one side • temporary suppression of the conflict by 3rd party military occupation • self-governance of separate communities

  35. Ethnic Wars: Endgame • For international interventions (outcome 2) to be successful, need to follow two principles: • establish physical separation of warring communities • maintain balance between or among the groups so that no one or combination has incentive or temptation to attack the other(s)

  36. Ethnic Wars: Endgame • International or outside forces need to be willing to commit military force to maintain the separation and the balance

  37. Ethnic Wars: Endgame “Humanitarian intervention to establish lasting safety for peoples endangters by ethnic civil wars is feasible, but only if the internation acommunity is prepared to recognize that some shattered states cannot be restored, and that population transfers are sometimes necessary.”