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Political Science Commons

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2011

Political Theory

Andrew J. Pierce

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Formal Democracy, Structural Violence, And The Possibility Of "Perpetual Peace.", Andrew Pierce Jan 2011

Formal Democracy, Structural Violence, And The Possibility Of "Perpetual Peace.", Andrew Pierce

Andrew J. Pierce

In this paper, I revisit and evaluate Kant’s prerequisites for “perpetual peace,” including the claim, central to contemporary political rhetoric, that formal democracy produces peace. I argue that formal democracy alone is insufficient to address the kinds of deep-rooted structural violence that ultimately manifest in terrorism and other forms of direct violence. I claim that the attempt to eliminate structural violence, and so achieve real “perpetual peace,” requires a more substantive sort of democracy, of which the United States and the West remain poor examples. It requires a political critique that goes deeper than just the critique of state ...