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THE POWER OF PERCEPTION – DEMOCRATIC PEACE THEORY AND THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

Carsten Rauch

Abstract


Abstract

The American Civil War is one of the favoured examples of scholars aiming to show the spuriousness of the claim that democracies do not fight each other. While proponents of democratic peace theory (DPT) point to the fact that the theory in its mainstream version does not cover intrastate wars and also question whether the slave-holding Confederate States of America can be classified as a democracy, this article takes a different approach. Using insights from the perceptional interpretation of DPT and interpreting discourses and speeches from the North as well as the South, I will show that a closer look at the case reveals it is very much in line with DPT and underlines rather than undermines the logic of the democratic peace.

Keywords: Democratic Peace Theory, American Civil War, Perception, IR Theory

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Bibliography: Rauch, Carsten: The Power of Perception – Democratic Peace Theory and the American Civil War, ERIS, 1-2016, pp. 5-30. https://doi.org/10.3224/eris.v3i1.2

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