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Description - Democracies at War by Dan Reiter

Why do democracies win wars? This is a critical question in the study of international relations. A traditional view - expressed most famously by Alexis de Tocqueville - is that democracies craft inferior foreign policy and often fail when fighting wars. In "Democracies of War" the authors come to a different conclusion. Democracies tend to win the wars they fight - about 80 per cent of the time. Complementing their wide ranging analysis, the authors apply statistical tests and new hypotheses. 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 that they are likely to win. Second, the emphasis on individuality in such societies leads their soliders to fight with greater initiative and leadership. Surprisingly, the authors find that it is neither economic muscle nor bandwagoning between democratic powers that enables democracies to win wars. On the whole, they find, democracies dependance on public consent makes for more rather than less effective foreign policy. This book yields insights on security policy, the causes of war, and the interplay betwe

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691089492
ISBN-10: 0691089493
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 21-Jan-2002
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Dan Reiter

Dan Reiter is Associate Professor and Winship Research Professor in the Department of Political Science at Emory University. He is the author of Crucible of Beliefs: Learning, Alliances, and World Wars. Allan C. Stam is Associate Professor of Government and Deputy Director of Academic Programs at Rockefeller Center, Dartmouth College. He is the author of Win, Lose, or Draw; Domestic Politics and the Crucible of War.

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