Abstract: Democratic Peace With Chinese Characteristics

For this project, I will be examining the factors contributing to Democratic Peace and whether the People’s Republic of China possesses these factors.

Democratic Peace is the observation that democratic states tend to be less likely to fight each other. The definition of “democratic”, however, has changed over time under different political theorists, making the exact characteristics of a state that fits the observation unclear. The People’s Republic of China is not usually considered a democracy by the popular modern definition, but claims to be democratic nonetheless and does currently possess observable democratic elements. The Chinese Communist Party holds democracy as one of its core tenets and maintains that in the PRC, power lies with the people. Whether China is a “true” democracy is an ambitious question I will not go at lengths to answer. Rather, I aim to clarify whether China is democratic¬†enough¬†to mitigate the possibility of direct military conflict with conventionally defined democratic states.