International Relations is a vibrant field of significant growth and change. This book guides students through the complexities of over 40 central concepts and core theories, relating them at all times to contemporary issues and debates.

Each concept is divided into five sections to allow rapid familiarization with the topic and provide signposts for further exploration:

Core questions to address; Definition; Theoretical perspectives; Empirical problems; Core reading and useful websites

In addition the major theories are covered by six-part entries that give a 360 degree view of the strengths, weaknesses, applications and methodologies of each one:

An introduction to the core questions; Overview and background; Methodologies; Empirical application; Central criticism; Core reading and useful websites

Clear and highly readable, Key Concepts in International Relations is an essential guide for students on politics and international relations courses.

Democratic Peace

Democratic peace

1. Core Questions Addressed

  • What is the link between democracies and peace?
  • Are interests, norms or institutions responsible for democracies not fighting each other?
  • Why do democracies go to war with non-democracies?

2. Definitions

Few concepts in International Relations have had such strong policy relevance as the idea of the democratic peace. At its heart is the often-made empirical observation that democracies do not go to war with each other. It is important to be precise here: the claim is not that democracies do not go to war at all. Indeed, democracies may even be more likely to go to war than other states if they are faced with non-democracies (Bueno de Mesquita et al. 1999).

The definitions of the two main components of this concept, democracy and ...

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