international relations theoretical perspective

international relations theoretical perspective

The determination of which international relations theoretical perspective offers the greatest explanation for democratic peace is relative to the person and the situation in which peace is absent. Democratic Peace is the concept that two democratic nations will not go to war with one another, so the spread is desirable (Nau, 2017). There are ample arguments from each perspective, such as the Identity perspective would argue that democracies are more peaceful than all other states, and that democracies do not go to war with one another because they share common domestic norms (Nau, 2017). A Liberal Perspective would argue that democracies do not go to war with one another because they do not want to disrupt trade from which each country mutual benefit (Nau, 2017). Additionally, the liberal perspective would argue that they belong to the same international institutions, which laws and practices they choose to fellow (Nau, 2017). The realist perspective would argue that democracies will not go to with with one another because they belong to the same alliances in fighting other alliances (Nau, 2017). Realist would argue that democracies do not go to war with one another because they successfully use balance-of-power to avoid war (Nau, 2017). 

The one that has the greatest chances of succeeding in the democratic peace, in my opinion, is the liberal perspective with trade becomes the focus. Democracies do not fight one another because they trade more with one another then with non-democracies (Nau, 2017). The more interwoven the trade is between he two countries the more harmful the war would be for both the countries. Additionally, it is perfectly reasonable to believe that trade creates peace and that peace can encourage other nations to develop democratic principles (Nau, 2017). 

The perspective that offers the least chances of succeeding in democratic peace is the identity perspective. The principle behind the stance of the identity perspective, in relation to democratic peace, is that nations who are democracies do not go to war with one another because they share domestic norms (Nau, 2017). This is the stance that the two will not fight because they act the same. What if the nation’s trade or institution are at odds with one another? For example, what if a democratic nation suddenly get gets a president that feels his nation suddenly does not receive a fair treatment agreement with other nations, and he institutes tariffs with other democratic nations? Will term democracies really form a bond strong enough to starve off war? What if a nation’s president becomes personally embarrassed by other democratic nations and label them protentional enemies while calling a Russian dictator a strong individual leader a strong country? Is common association, minus trade, international agreements, or military alliances stronger enough to protect the democratic peace from a single president who had taken these provocative actions? 

Democratic peace has the ability for creating a long-lasting phenomenon because it is bigger then one nation or one society. Democratic peace, especially when a nation’s economics are tied together, becomes attractive to other nations. That is why western democratic nations are so popular even when a particular president of one of these democratic nations are not. Every country, in their desire for self-preservation will seek peace and economic prosperity, democratic peace bound together through economies offers that self-preservation. 

U.S. foreign policy should encourage the spread of democracy only in a passive means. The support for democratic peace has the ability to come across as American chauvinism and idealism, according to critical theorist (Nau, 2017). Additionally, no one to have someone else will imposed upon them, and doing so takes away the core concept of democracy.   


Nau, H. R. (2017). Perspectives on international relations: Power, institutions, and ideas (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press.

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