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Democracies almost never go to war against each other. This simple observation has acquired the status of an empirical law in the social sciences. Yet while democracies tend to have peaceful relations with one another, this is not to claim that democracies are generally less war prone than other regime types. This entry explores the concept of the democratic peace and details the research surrounding the democratic peace theory, beginning with the debate to define the central concepts of democracy and peace, continuing with a discussion of Immanuel Kant’s “Perpetual Peace” and theoretical explanations for democratic peace theory, and concluding with critiques of democratic peace and a look at emerging studies in democratic conflict outside of peace.

The Dual Finding of Democratic Peace

Many empirical studies find ...

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