Bruce M. Russett: Pioneer in the Scientific and Normative Study of War, Peace, and Policy

Volume 34 of the series SpringerBriefs on Pioneers in Science and Practice pp 74-108


The Kantian Peace: The Pacific Benefits of Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations, 1885–1992

  • John R. OnealAffiliated withCambridge University Press
  • , Bruce M. RussettAffiliated withDepartment of Political Science, Yale University

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Just over 200 years ago Immanuel Kant suggested that “re-publican constitutions,” a “commercial spirit” of international trade, and a federation of interdependent republics would provide the basis for perpetual peace. Our analyses for the years 1885–1992 indicate that Kant was substantially correct: democracy, economic interdependence, and involvement in international organizations reduce the incidence of militarized interstate disputes. The pacific benefits of the Kantian influences, especially of democracy and trade, were not confined to the cold war era but extend both forward from that era and back many decades.