Power Kills: Democracy As a Method of Nonviolence

In This Review

Power Kills: Democracy As a Method of Nonviolence

By R. J. Rummel
Transaction Publishers, 1997
246 pp. $32.95

Yet another democratic peace theorist, Rummel extends the argument to assert that democracies not only do not fight one another but are much less prone to genocide and domestic political violence, and are in fact much less likely to fight wars overall. The truth of the latter assertion will be questioned by many (including Doyle), though Rummel adduces considerable statistical evidence to support his claims. It is clear in his discussion of causes that it is less democracy per se that brings peace (democracies are, after all, subject to nationalism and mass hysteria), so much as limited government that diffuses power as broadly as possible to citizens and society.

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