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Democratic Peace

A Political Biography

Piki Ish-Shalom

Publication Year: 2013

The Democratic Peace Thesis holds that democracies rarely make war on other democracies. Political scientists have advanced numerous theories attempting to identify precisely which elements of democracy promote this mutual peace, often hoping that Democratic Peace could be the final and ultimate antidote to war. However, as the theories were taken up by political figures, the immediate outcomes were war and the perpetuation of hostilities. Political theorist Piki Ish-Shalom sketches the origins and early academic development of the Democratic Peace Thesis. He then focuses on the ways in which various Democratic Peace Theories were used by Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both to shape and to justify U.S. foreign policy, particularly the U.S. stance on the Israeli-Palestinian situation and the War in Iraq. In the conclusion, Ish-Shalom boldly confronts the question of how much responsibility theoreticians must bear for the political uses—and misuses—of their ideas.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Cover

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p. 1-1

Title Page, About the Author, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

It has taken awhile. It has taken way longer than I planned or expected, and having taken such a while, the political biography of the democratic peace has become a key part of my own biography. And like any biography, it is interwoven with the biographies of so many others. ...

A Note to the Reader

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pp. xiii-xiv

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Introduction

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pp. 1-13

Childless though he was, Immanuel Kant is the towering (or assumed) father of many offspring, one of which is the subject of this book: the theories of democratic peace; those theories that try to explain the absence (or near absence) of war between consolidated democracies. ...

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1. Theory as a Hermeneutical Mechanism: A Theoretical Model

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pp. 14-38

This chapter sets out the theoretical model for the book: a model explaining the conditioned power of theories. In order to establish my theory, I aim to use hermeneutics—though with a slight twist. Hermeneutics is usually understood as the art of reading and interpreting texts. I want to stress, however, the dual nature of hermeneutics. ...

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2. Democratic Peace as Theoretical Constructions

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pp. 39-67

In 1964 we saw the revival of the Kantian republican peace, and the start of a process that epitomizes the first stage of theory as a hermeneutical process as depicted and analyzed in this book—in other words, the stage when meaning becomes attached to political concepts through academic discourse. ...

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3. Democratic Peace as a Public Convention

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pp. 68-84

The multiplicity of configurations and the multiplicity of options within each configuration support the claim that theory indeed is a theoretical construction, or a mode of political thought in Freeden’s sense. Theories offer not just explanations for complex phenomena, but also an inclusive understanding of the phenomena. ...

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4. Word-Lords: The Israeli Right's Mobilization of the Rhetorical Capital of Democratic Peace

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pp. 85-111

On June 24, 2002, President Bush brought out a new plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. That plan, which became known as the “Roadmap,” was based on a two-state solution and presented two novelties: (1) for the first time, the United States committed itself publicly and officially to an independent Palestinian sovereignty, ...

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5. The Civilization of Clashes: The Neoconservative Reading of Democratic Peace

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pp. 112-141

A specter is haunting American neoconservatism—the specter of promoting democracy. It exorcises whatever prudence conservatism might otherwise espouse; it drives neoconservatives’ grand strategy to experimentalism that otherwise they would condemn as “social engineering.” ...

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6. The Three Free World Theories

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pp. 142-170

Democratic peace is a theory of democracy, by democracy, for democracy; it is supposed to explain the behavior of democracies, it was conceived in democracies, and its political representations were put into use for the sake of democracies. The focus of this book is a free world theory. ...

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7. Theorizing and Responsibility

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pp. 171-203

Tumultuous are the lives of theories. Conceived in the serenity of academy, they may find themselves forced into the real world and subjected to the vicissitudes of politics. This migration of theories from academia to the real world is what raises the question of theoreticians’ responsibility. ...

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Conclusions: Zooming In, Zooming Out

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pp. 204-218

Though faltering at times, the democratic peace theories have thriving lives. The aim of this book has been to trace those lives, understand them theoretically, and assess them in normative terms. Theoretically, the migration of theory to the nonacademic world was conceptualized through the hermeneutical mechanism model. ...

Notes

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pp. 219-230

References

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pp. 231-258

Index

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pp. 259-266


E-ISBN-13: 9780472029150
E-ISBN-10: 0472029150
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472118762
Print-ISBN-10: 0472118765

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2013