[ExI] The Social Market Roots of Democratic Peace

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Tue May 12 14:36:07 UTC 2009

I thought this might be of interest as peaceful interaction would seem most conducive to Extropianism and transhumanist projects:


"Democracy does not cause peace among nations. Rather, domestic conditions cause both democracy and peace. From 1961 to 2001, democratic nations engaged in numerous fatal conflicts with each other, including at least one war, yet not a single fatal militarized incident occurred between nations with contract-intensive economies-those where most people have the opportunity to participate in the market. In contract-intensive economies, individuals learn to respect the choices of others and value equal application of the law. They demand liberal democracy at home and perceive it in their interest to respect the rights of nations and international law abroad. The consequences involve more than just peace: the contract-intensive democracies are in natural alliance against any actor-state or nonstate-that seeks to challenge Westphalian law and order. Because China and Russia lack contractualist economies, the economic divide will define great power politics in
 the coming decade. To address the challenges posed by China and Russia, preserve the Westphalian order, and secure their citizens from terrorism, the contract-intensive powers should focus their efforts on supporting global economic opportunity, rather than on promoting democracy."

Also, Mousseau gives a brief run down on Economic Norms Theory at:


I've long been suspicious of Democratic Peace Theory.*  Mousseau's works seems to explain why that theory seems to have some empirical basis.  Anyhow, if he's right, the take home is that those who want a more peaceful world -- even if simply to spend (or waste) the money that would've gone into security and war on national healthcare -- might do well to understand how contract-intensive economies can spread.



*  There are two problems I've seen with the theory: a tendency to define democracy narrowly (so that when what critics might call democracies are fighting each other, one of them gets re-defined as a non-democracy) and a very small and biased data set (modern democracies were rare until the 20th century and then most of this history is either covered by the Cold War or the unipolar moment).


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