Much political capital has been made from the assertion that democratic states are more peaceful and stable than their undemocratic counterparts, yet since the end of the Cold War, history has been shaped by the wars of democracies. Some of these wars have been an interventionist response to ongoing violence. Yet even then, it remains to be explained why democracies should opt for the use of force in dealing with violence. Moreover, other wars have been unambiguously initiated by democracies. In general, democracies have played a crucial role in rehabilitating war as a means of politics. Yet, while democracies seem to agree on the imperative for re-orienting their military capabilities from territorial defence to global military governance, they disagree on the scope and institutional prerequisites for the use of force. The book addresses both, the shift in the respective policies of democracies, and the strong variance within these policies.

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