Democracies and Success in War Essay

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Democracies and Success in War


Democratic governments have spread quickly around the world since the end of the Cold War and fall of the Soviet Union. Democracy has become one of the most desired regime types amongst states and is contributed to fostering wealth, stability, and even peace. Dan Reiter and Allan Stam argue that democracies are the most successful in war or military combat. In their book, Democracies at War, Stam and Reiter argue that after observing conflicts since the 1800’s, democratic governments tend to be more selective in choosing conflicts to participate in and democracies also have a propensity to win more often than authoritarian regimes.

The purpose of this paper is to present a
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The case of Israel was chosen for two reasons. First, Stam and Reiter mention Israel in their book and argue that this state is a prime example of how democracies are better equipped, trained, motivated, and successful in war. Michael Desch questions this claim by Stam and Reiter over Israel, especially the argument that they fight more adequately and the soldiers of democracies are better trained. These conflicting commits over Israel lays the foundation of an adequate need for a case study to see if Israel is, as Stam and Reiter claims, more successful at war because they are a democracy, or Desch’s counter argument that Israel fought so well because they were fighting for survival, not because of their regime. The second reason why Israel has been chosen as the case study for this paper is because they have arguably never lost a war since independence and seem to improve in conflict through the years.
The greatest contribution I hope to make in this paper is a deeper understanding of how democracies choose and fight wars. Due to time constraints, this paper is only addressing one case study that deals with two wars. As in any case study the results are limited to that particular case. However, the research creates more in depth examination over the arguments by Stam and Reiter and, in a more general sense, attempts to analyze propositions made by democratic theorist.


The methodology, as stated before
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