When Democracies Make War: Comparing Democratic Institutions in their War-Making Abilities



Turner, Charles M

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My thesis explores the relationship between democracy and peace by studying domestic institutions and their ability to constrain executives determined to engage in war. In particular, I distinguish between structural institutions such as executive accountability, cabinet composition, and party system, and unique war powers granted to parliaments. Comparing Italy, Denmark, Portugal, and the Republic of Korea in their commitment to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I argue that institutions are capable of reducing the commitment to war or preventing an executive from going to war altogether. Dual executive structures, coalition cabinets, and parliamentary voting rights on deployments are the most powerful constraints in these cases. These examples of constraint tell much about the ability of parliamentary opposition to affect government policy and challenge executives in the realm of foreign affairs.



Democratic peace, Institutions, Executive constraint, Institutional constraint, Security policy