🕊️ There is a way to end all wars

A number of political scientists have come to the same conclusion: democracies do not go to war against each other.

🕊️ There is a way to end all wars
Mr. Speaker! Peace on Earth. Is that a naive dream? Is it something that only children believe in nowadays? Peace on Earth might feel like a dream, but how to get there is based on hard facts. We know what would create such a world.

That was me, during my time in Parliament. The hard facts I was referring to are these.

Democracies do not go to war against each other

The researcher who first came to describe the phenomenon of democratic peace was the political scientist Quincy Wright in 1942, in A Study of War. In 116 wars between the years 1789 and 1942 438 nations participated. Not once had democracies fought against each other.

Sociologist Dean Babst published in 1964 the first academic paper on what is called The Democratic Peace Theory. Babst had examined the two world wars and found that 25 democracies participated. 24 of these were on the same side. The twenty-fifth, Finland, participated on the German side against the Soviet Union and was thus formally at war with the allied countries, but no fighting between them ever took place.

Professor Michael Doyle at Columbia University studied all conflicts with more than one thousand killed between 1816 and 1980 and found not one example where democracies have fought with each other.

Zeev Maoz and Nasrin Abdolali, two political scientists, examined 960 military conflicts. Not a single one took place between democracies.

But perhaps the definition of democracy is too narrow? Professor of Political Science, Bruce Russetts, eased the concept and departed from the usual definition, but still could not find any example of democracies who fought with each other.

In his research, Professor R.J. Rummel has found 353 warring couples between the years 1816 and 1991. 198 of these were non-democracy versus non-democracy, 155 between democracy and non-democracy and zero between democracy and democracy.

A number of other researchers have come to the same conclusion: democracies do not go to war against each other.

The critique against the Democratic Peace Theory

Of course, there are also researchers who present criticism. They mean that the statistical basis is too small to draw any definite conclusions. Others point to what they mean are wars between democracies, but then count countries on the verge of democratization or very small conflicts.

There are examples of armed conflicts between democracies, as Bruce Russett reports in his book Grasping the Democratic Peace: a skirmish between Israel and Britain in the Suez War and another between Britain and Turkey in Cyprus in a peacekeeping operation. However, these conflicts do not belong to the category of war.

No one has managed to point to a clear exception where well-established democracies are at war with each other.

Is it really impossible?

A war between democracies is of course theoretically possible. It's not against the laws of physics. But they are very unlikely.


Imagine a world with only well-developed mature democracies, like the Nordic countries for example. A war between them is almost impossible to imagine. And the longer the world has been at peace, the harder it will be to start a war.

That is what a world with only democracies would be like: At peace.

How do we get there?

That is a topic that demands its own text, but a good start would be this.

🗳️ Time to unite the democratic countries of the world
To accelerate the positive progress that democracy brings and to reduce the influence and harmful effects of dictatorships, the democratic countries of the world should cooperate in a new organization, an Alliance of Democracies.

Mathias Sundin
Co-founder & CEO of Warp News
Co-founder & Executive Chairman, Warp Institute
Former Member of Parliament

Please also check out this on the same topic.

🕊️ Peace on Earth?
A world with only democracies would be a peaceful world without wars.

A fully democratic world is part of the Warp News Manifesto.

💡 Warp News Manifesto
News media is constantly bombarding us with negative news and headlines. That has turned a majority of people into pessimists. And pessimists don’t push the human race forward. For that we need optimists. To get more optimists we need to balance news media. That is the mission of Warp News.