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Bad – A2 Conflict Resolution Norms

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Bad – A2 Conflict Resolution Norms

Democracies don’t create peace. They don’t use pacific means to resolve disputes, even when available.

Rosato 03 (Sebastian, Ph.D. in Political Science and Assistant Professor of Political Science – University of Notre Dame, “The Flawed Logic of Democratic Peace Theory”, The American Political Science Review, American Political Science Association, Vol. 97, No. 4 (Nov., 2003), pp. 588-589, Jstor)
The historical record indicates that democracies have often failed to adopt their internal norms of conflict resolution in an international context. This claim rests, first, on determining what democratic norms say about the international use of force and, second, on establishing whether democracies have generally adhered to these prescriptions. Liberal democratic norms narrowly circumscribe the range of situations in which democracies can justify the use of force. As Doyle (1997, 25) notes, "Liberal wars are only fought for popular, liberal purposes." This does not mean that they will go to war less often than other kinds of states; it only means that there are fewer reasons available to them for waging war. Democracies are certainly justified in fighting wars of self-defense. Locke ([1690] 1988), for example, argues that states, like men in the state of nature, have a right to destroy those who violate their rights to life, liberty, and property (269-72). There is considerable disagreement among liberal theorists regarding precisely what kinds of action constitute self-defense, but repulsing an invasion, preempting an impending military attack, and fighting in the face of unreasonable demands all plausibly fall under this heading. Waging war when the other party has not engaged in threatening behavior does not. In short, democracies should only go to war when "their safety and security are seriously endangered by the expansionist policies of outlaw states" (Rawls 1999, 90-91). Another justification for the use of force is intervention in the affairs of other states or peoples, either to prevent blatant human rights violations or to bring about conditions in which liberal values can take root. For Rawls (1999, 81), as for many liberals, human rights violators are "to be condemned and in grave cases may be subjected to forceful sanctions and even to intervention" (see also Doyle 1997, 31-32, and Owen 1997, 34-35). Mill ([1859] (1984)) extends the scope of intervention, arguing that "barbarous" nations can be conquered to civilize them for their own benefit (see also Mehta 1990). However, if external rule does not ensure freedom and equality, it will be as illiberal as the system it seeks to replace. Consequently, intervention can only be justified if it is likely to "promote the development of conditions in which appropriate principles of justice can be satisfied" (Beitz 1979, 90). The imperialism of Europe's great powers between 1815 and 1975 provides good evidence that liberal democracies have often waged war for reasons other than self-defense and the inculcation of liberal values. Although there were only a handful of liberal democracies in the international system during this period, they were involved in 66 of the 108 wars listed in the Correlates of War (COW) dataset of extrasystemic wars (Singer and Small 1994). Of these 66 wars, 33 were "imperial," fought against previously independent peoples, and 33 were "colonial," waged against existing colonies. It is hard to justify the "imperial" wars in terms of self-defense. Several cases are clear-cut: The democracy faced no immediate threat and conquered simply for profit or to expand its sphere of influence. A second set of cases includes wars waged as a result of imperial competition: Liberal democracies conquered non-European peoples in order to create buffer states against other empires or to establish control over them before another imperial power could move in. Thus Britain tried to conquer Afghanistan (1838) in order to create a buffer state against Russia, and France invaded Tunisia (1881) for fear of an eventual Italian occupation. Some commentators describe these wars as defensive because they aimed to secure sources of overseas wealth, thereby enhancing national power at the expense of other European powers. There are three reasons to dispute this assessment. First, these wars were often preventive rather than defensive: Russia had made no move to occupy Afghanistan and Italy had taken no action in Tunisia. A war designed to avert possible action in the future, but for which there is no current evidence, is not defensive. Second, there was frequently a liberal alternative to war. Rather than impose authoritarian rule, liberal great powers could have offered non-European peoples military assistance in case of attack or simply deterred other imperial powers. Finally, a substantial number of the preventive occupations were a product of competition between Britain and France, two liberal democracies that should have trusted one another and negotiated in good faith without compromising the rights of non-Europeans if democratic peace theory is correct. A third set of cases includes wars waged directly against non-Europeans whose territory bordered the European empires. Because non-Europeans sometimes initiated these wars contemporaries tended to justify them as defensive wars of "pacification" to protect existing imperial possessions. Again, there are good reasons to doubt the claim that such wars were defensive. In the first place, non-Europeans often attacked to prevent further encroachment on their lands; it was they and not the Europeans that were fighting in self-defense. Moreover, there is considerable evidence that the imperial powers often provoked the attacks or acted preventively and exploited local instabilities as a pretext for imposing control on the periphery of their empires (Table 1). Nor were any of the extrasystemic wars fought to prevent egregious abuses of human rights or with the express purpose of replacing autocratic rule with a more liberal alternative. The "colonial" wars, by definition, were conflicts in which imperial powers sought to perpetuate or reimpose autocratic rule. The "imperial" wars simply replaced illiberal indigenous government with authoritarian rule. When imperial rule was not imposed directly, the European powers supported local elites but retained strict control over their actions, thereby underwriting unjust political systems and effectively implementing external rule. In short, despite protestations that they were bearing the "white man's burden," there is little evidence that liberal states' use of force was motivated by respect for human rights or that imperial conquest enhanced the rights of non- Europeans.s There are, then, several examples of liberal states violating liberal norms in their conduct of foreign policy and therefore the claim that liberal states generally externalize their internal norms of conflict resolution is open to question.

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