So democracies don’t fight other democracies. Why not?
- There are three common explanations for the democratic peace.
- First is the culture of contracts: democratic citizens are used to non-violent conflict resolution domestically and thus seek non-violence conflict resolution internationally.
- Second is transparency: democracies are more transparent than non-democracies and thus are less likely to get into wars involving asymmetric information and incentives to misrepresent.
- Third is electoral incentives: democratic regimes have incentive to promote the common good and thus do not start wars that would only benefit the leaders.
- Each of these explanations would imply that democracies should also be less likely to fight non-democracies. Yet we do not see that.
- We do not have a theoretical explanation for the democratic peace that is consistent with the dyadic statistical result.