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Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Ideologies & Doctrines > Democracy > 0691089493
  1. Democracies at War
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  2. Democracies at War

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    Customer Ratings (7 reviews)
    Price R1093.00

Additional Information

Why do democracies win wars? This is a critical question in the study of international relations, as a traditional view--expressed most famously by Alexis de Tocqueville--has been that democracies are inferior in crafting foreign policy and fighting wars. In Democracies at War, the first major study of its kind, Dan Reiter and Allan Stam come to a very different conclusion. Democracies tend to win the wars they fight--specifically, about eighty percent of the time.

Complementing their wide-ranging case-study analysis, the authors apply innovative statistical tests and new hypotheses. In unusually clear prose, they pinpoint two reasons for democracies' success at war. First, as elected leaders understand that losing a war can spell domestic political backlash, democracies start only those wars they are likely to win. Secondly, the emphasis on individuality within democratic societies means that their soldiers fight with greater initiative and superior leadership.

Surprisingly, Reiter and Stam find that it is neither economic muscle nor bandwagoning between democratic powers that enables democracies to win wars. They also show that, given societal consent, democracies are willing to initiate wars of empire or genocide. On the whole, they find, democracies' dependence on public consent makes for more, rather than less, effective foreign policy. Taking a fresh approach to a question that has long merited such a study, this book yields crucial insights on security policy, the causes of war, and the interplay between domestic politics and international relations.

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Brand: Princeton University Press
Used Book in Good Condition
Princeton University Press
Princeton University Press
Princeton University Press
Princeton University Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

First of all, I have no idea what the other reviewers are talking about. The thing to realize here is that this is an interesting work of international relations theory. The work is great in its methodology and presents relevant and unique empirical findings (unlike some/many of the recent academic work on the democratic peace). Even though I disagree with some of the work's findings, I appreciate it for what it is and could care less about all of the odd comments from the other reviewers.
This was one of the most excellent books I have read in a long time. I had to read it for my world politics class and I became very intrigued in the propositions set forth by Reiter and Stam in this book.
The book is very easy to read, unlike many other pieces in political science. They save all of the confusing statistical data for the appendices so not to bore the reader during the chapters. They combine empirical data with interesting case studies. This would be an excellent book for anyone to read and I highly recommend it, especially if you want to learn why democracies win wars!
Also, who cares about the authors? These past reviews spent too much time dramatizing something that I'm sure most people that do not know who the authors are or follow their lives as if they were madonna, care about.
I think this book does a good job outlining the various democracies at war. Historical information is presented in an interesting manner. The author also is able to convey a lot of emotion related to the times. I would recommend this book to others.
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