Democratic Peace Theory: A Path Towards Civil War: The Case of Iraq


The author suggests that the liberal paradigm of democratic peace is problematic in explaining the international reality. Democratization does not necessarily lead toward peace, but quite the contrary, induces wars, primarily in the sense of “just wars” with the aim of toppling down authoritarian regimes. Also, the paper shows that democracies do go to war with each other. Young democracies are especially inclined to do so. The author strongly emphasizes that democratization can lead to civil wars. The case of Iraq shows how, instead of peace, democratization lead to violence within the state, which produced new security issues for the whole region. American goals in Iraq were disarming Iraq, war against terror, the spreading of freedom and democracy, and introducing the free market. However, none of these goals were achieved. Iraq was already disarmed in 1991, while the American invasion made Al Qaida’s entrance to Iraq possible. The last three goals, which also represent the pillars of the democratic peace theory, were also not achieved. Instead, Iraq entered a civil war.

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