Theorization, harm, and the democratic imperative: Lessons from the politicization of the democratic-peace thesis

Piki Ish-Shalom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

The migration of democratic-peace theory from academia to the American political arena resulted in misrepresenting the theory politically. Both the form and content of the political misrepresentation are different from those of the theory. It is argued here that rather, than the theory itself, it is its political misrepresentation that influenced public deliberation and the recent American efforts to democratize the Middle East. Thus, the inputs of theorizing the democratic peace are shown to cause political harms and policy mishaps. Identifying the harms, the mishaps and the theoreticians' indirect responsibilities for them, I conclude that theoreticians are ascribed with political responsibility ensuing in a democratic imperative to show greater concern and involvement in the political destinies of their theories and to participate more actively in the public deliberations that shape policies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)680-692
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Studies Review
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

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