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War and Democratic Constraint
Author: Matthew A. Baum

ISBN: 9780691165233
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 280
Published: 11 April 2015
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.5
Description:


Why do some democracies reflect their citizens' foreign policy preferences better than others? What roles do the media, political parties, and the electoral system play in a democracy's decision to join or avoid a war?War and Democratic Constraint shows that the key to how a government determines foreign policy rests on the transmission and availability of information. Citizens successfully hold their democratic governments accountable and a distinctive foreign policy emerges when two vital institutions--a diverse and independent political opposition and a robust media--are present to make timely information accessible.

Matthew Baum and Philip Potter demonstrate that there must first be a politically potent opposition that can blow the whistle when a leader missteps. This counteracts leaders' incentives to obscure and misrepresent. Second, healthy media institutions must be in place and widely accessible in order to relay information from whistle-blowers to the public. Baum and Potter explore this communication mechanism during three different phases of international conflicts: when states initiate wars, when they resp...

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