Constructing Political Logic: The Democratic Peace Puzzle

  • Citation: Zinnes, Dina A. "Constructing Political Logic: The democratic peace puzzle." Journal of Conflict Resolution 48.3 (2004): 430-454.
    • Topics:
    • IR Theories
    • Keywords:
    • logic
    • propositional calculus
    • democratic peace

The statistical observation that war between democratic states is exceptionally rare and the seemingly contradictory finding that democracies nevertheless do go to war have posedan intriguing puzzle for the field of international politics. The two explanations that have gained the greatest currency, the normative and structural, have commanded center stage for nearly a decade. Recently, however, these explanations have come under attack. Using the propositional calculus, this study provides a logical construction of both arguments that (1)explains the empirical results of why two democracies do not goto war whereas all other dyads do go to war, (2) compares the normative and structural theories, and (3) facilitates an assessment of the critiques leveled at both theories.

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