Liberal peace, liberal war : American politics and international security /
John M. Owen IV.
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1997.
x, 246 p. ; 25 cm.
0801433193 (cloth : alk. paper)
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Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1997.
0801433193 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-07:
There is considerable evidence that liberal democracies rarely go to war with each other even though they often engage in wars with states having other political systems. Why this occurs as well as its implications are the subjects of extensive study and thought. On the first question, Owen (Univ. of Virginia) believes it is owing to a combination of liberal ideology and representative political institutions within the democratic states. He clearly presents his analysis, combining it with well-conducted case studies that generally support his hypotheses. As for the implications, Owen believes that a great deal depends on the mutual perceptions of the liberal elites of each state about the other. If they view the other state's political system as "undemocratic," they are far more prone to support a war. Thus, even if all states were liberal democracies, wars could still occur among them. This is a well-reasoned and capably executed study that will become an important part of the literature that deals with democracies and international conflict. Extensive notes but no bibliography. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. J. M. Scolnick Jr.; Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia
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Choice, July 1998
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Unpaid Annotation
Liberal democracies very rarely fight wars against each other, even though they go to war just as often as other types of states do. John M. Owen attributes this peculiar restraint to a synergy between liberal ideology and the institutions that exist within these states. Liberal elites identify their interests with those of their counterparts in foreign states, Owen contends. Free discussion and regular competitive elections allow the agitations of the elites in liberal democracies to shape foreign policy, especially during crises, by influencing governmental decision makers.Several previous analysts have offered theories to explain liberal peace, but they have not examined the state. This book explores the chain of events linking peace with democracies. Owen emphasizes that peace is constructed by democratic ideas, and should be understood as a strong tendency built upon historically contingent perceptions and institutions. He tests his theory against ten cases drawn from over a century ofU.S. diplomatic history, beginning with the Jay Treaty in 1794 and ending with the Spanish-American War in 1898. A world full of liberal democra
Table of Contents
Why Liberal Peace and Liberal War
The Puzzle of Liberal Peacep. 3
Identity, Ideology, and Institutionsp. 22
American Diplomatic Crises, 1794-1898
From the Jay Treaty to the War of 1812p. 67
From the Oregon Crisis to the Civil Warp. 98
From the Virginius Affair to the Spanish-American Warp. 139
Liberalism Matters
Liberalism at Workp. 185
Implications and Conclusionsp. 216
Indexp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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