The research project analyzed the peace-enhancing capabilities of differently composed regional security organizations, based on case studies and a systematic comparison. At its outset stood the puzzle of democratic peace, i.e. the observation that democratic states display a decisively lower willingness to use force against each other as well as towards non-democratic states. The project built upon the hypothesis that this behavioral pattern can only be explained on the level of interaction and that it stems from the particular form of international organizations democratic states establish among each other. In order to test this hypothesis, the project surveyed the characteristics of security organizations in four regions (Western Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asia and Latin America) and investigated their peace-inducing influence on so-called strategic dyads in the respective regions, that is pairs of states with long histories of conflicts and thus a higher than average propensity for war. The project was able to demonstrate that inter-democratic institutions are embedded in particularly well developed networks between national foreign policy and security bureaucracies as well as with societal actors. These characteristics were shown to enable higher levels of transparency, reliability and trust between the member states.
The research project was conducted in cooperation with Universität Tübingen and funded by the German Foundation for Peace Research (Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung, DSF). It was concluded in 2010 with the publication of the book (in German) titled “The International Organization of Democratic Peace. Studies on Capabilities of Regional Security Organizations”.
Research Fellows: Dr. Matthias Dembinski, Katja Freistein, Prof. Dr. Andreas Hasenclever, Dr. Brigitte Weiffen, Makiko Yamauchi
Research Fellows:Matthias Dembinski