Why Democracies (Almost) Never Fight Each Other

Ivan Perkins, guest-blogging on the Volokh Conspiracy, offers an explanation why stable democracies do not fight each other.  An apparent exception to that rule highlights the importance of the stability of democratic institutions.  In the build-up to the 1999 Kargil War between India and Pakistan, the Indian prime minister called the Pakistani prime minister to ask why the Pakistani military had invaded Indian territory in Kashmir.  Both India and Pakistan were then putative democracies, but the phone call from the Indian prime minister was the first the Pakistani prime minister learned of the actions of the Pakistani military.  Pakistani General Pervez Musharraf was the architect of the invasion, and later the same year, he took power from the civilian Pakistani government in a coup.  The Pakistani democracy was hardly stable.


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