The best guarantee for peace
War is the activity between or among states which humankind has been involving or learning directly and indirectly for hundred years. It is the most destructive states' foreign policy. It produces immeasurable damage and millions of dead people, especially for the big wars such as Napoleonic War, World War I and II. Most of people have already recognized such terrible outcomes of war. Thus, some of philosophers and social scientists have been trying to find whether wars are avoidable or not and how to avoid them. Also, others have advanced their views by changing questions to be involved with the concept of peace which can be defined as "the absence of war" (Levy, 1998, p. 141). Similar to the latter, I will address the question of what mechanisms or conditions provide the best guarantee of peace between states in this essay. Before going to introduce the argument, I would like to give some assumptions regarding this question. First, this essay defines peace between states to cover the situation of more than two states and all states in world system eventually. Second, the essay will focus only on peace for interstate level, regardless the touch upon peace or stability within state or intrastate level. Third, the term of peace will be defined as the state of no war (Fortna, 2003, p. 339) which is not the durability of peace after war or conflict like the work of Virginia P. Fortna (2003).
To address the above question, John R. Oneal and Bruce Russett argued that conditions for pacific international system consist of three aspects; democracy, interdependence and international organization, which is called "the Kantian Peace" (1999). They confirmed his argument by analyzing relating events in the world during 1885-1992 which finally supported their argument. In order to develop my own argument, I will extend the period further to the 21st century and reorganize Oneal and Russett's argument accordingly. However, the argument of this essay will be still based on the concept of Immanuel Kant in, "Perpetual Peace: A Philosophy Sketch" (Oneal & Russett, 1999). Firstly, this essay argues that the three elements from Kant's Definitive Articles, consisting of republican constitutionalism, a federal contract between states and the transformation of individual consciousness (Dunne, 2008, p. 112), are the mechanisms or conditions which will provide the best guarantee of peace among states. Secondly, to argue in contemporary way, the individual consciousness (individual level) will be the key element to be mobilized and concentrated in order to enhance international peace and security in the 21st century. Therefore, this essay will be structured into four parts. The first three parts are for the discussion of the first argument regarding to the three conditions of Kant's idea which will be separated each part by applying the concept of the three-level analysis of Kenneth Waltz (1959) - individual, state and international level - in order to make the argument clearer. The fourth part will be kept for the discussion on the recommendation to promote individual consciousness as a pathway to the pacific world in the 21st century which is mentioned as the second argument of this essay. Both of main parts are supported by empirical examples from the real world historically and contemporarily.
Although the work called, 'Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch', of Immanuel Kant was written over two hundred years ago, these notions still have been playing an important role in answering the question of how to provide the state of peace in international arena. Kant proposed the two types of methods in the form of the preliminary and the definitive articles (Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch 1795) which can be categorized as the short term and long term approach. However, in this essay, it will concentrate only on the definitive articles which are composed of three conditions for building perpetual peace. These are, in the first definitive article, "the Civil Constitution of Every State shall be Republican", in the second one, "The Right of Nations shall be based on a Federation of Free States", and the last one, "Cosmopolitan Rights shall be limited to Conditions of Universal Hospitality" (Dunne, 2008, p. 112). Respectively, these three components can be simplified as the republican constitutionalism, a federal contract between states and the promotion of individual consciousness (Dunne, 2008, p. 112) which will provide the best guarantee for peace among states according to my argument here. In this first main part, the three components will be analyzed separately in three sub-sections by using the three-level analysis of Kenneth Waltz (1959) as criteria to make it easy to follow.
To begin with, I will start by drawing attention to the state-level of analysis. That is to say, the first condition for securing peace among states is to promote constitutional republicanism or contemporary democratic states globally which has small difference from the original concept of Kant in term of the meaning of democracy. According to Kant (Dunne, 2008), the civil constitution of states which will promote peace among others is the republicanism which is respectively known as democratic states in the contemporary world. To clarify, it should be noted additionally about the difference concept of republican and democracy. Republicanism in Kant's idea is the political concept about the form of the government which has the separation of the administrative or executive power from the legislative. On the other hand, the democracy, which was meant to the full or pure democracy by Kant, is one kind of the three forms of sovereignty; autocracy, aristocracy and democracy, which each refers to the amount of people who possess the sovereign power of the state. In addition, with this pure democracy, states will be despotism which is a threat to peace finally; therefore, Kant really did not support the way to promote pure democracy directly (Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch 1795). However, the meant democracy and republicanism of Kant at that time have known as the popular concept of modern democracy which is known as the representative democracy nowadays (Pietrzyk). Together with, the first condition for peace here will take this meaning into account with reasons and examples as follows.
First of all, the reason behind is that when the democratic state has to decide whether to go to war or not, the consent of overall people and citizen within the state will be taken into consideration, not just the decision of one or a few group of people in the non-democratic states (Dunne, 2008, p. 112). Similar to what Kant (Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch 1795) had said that in non-republican state the declaration of war is the easiest thing to decide for the head of state. This is because the simple logic that he is not a citizen, but the ruler of the state, and he will not have to sacrifice anything himself to this matter of war and will not have to face with the devastating result of war. Namely, the democratic process will provide the more constraint and more prudent thinking in the decision-making mechanism of the states especially in the worst case that states have to make a decision to go to war or not. Same as the suggestion of Marxists and Liberal theorists, the mass public opinion will be inherently peaceful because it is a kind of the division of power within democratic states providing institutional constraint on the use of force by the leaders (Levy, 1998, pp. 151-152). According to the statistics from R.J. Rummel (R.J. Rummel at Allexperts), who is the early supporter of democratic peace theory, he found that during the period since 1816 until 2005 there were 205 wars between non-democratic states, 166 wars between non-democratic and democratic and absolutely no war between democratic states. Also, Rummel concluded as same as Kant and Oneal and Russett (Oneal & Russett, 1999, p. 28) who had proposed that democracy is the form of governments that do not make war on each other (R.J. Rummel at Allexperts). Besides, the study undertaken by the Lui Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver also stated that our world has become more peaceful after the end of the Cold War in 1991 which can be seen from its 2005 Human Security Report cited that 40% decrease in armed conflicts overall since the early 1990s (Rogers, 2007) and 70% decrease in the number of international crises or interstate conflicts between 1981 and 2001 (Acharya, 2008). This is because of the benefits from the steadily growing of democracies since the late 1970s, especially after the end of the Cold War era (Oneal & Russett, 1999, pp. 34-35), and the declining in the number of autocratic regimes (Rogers, 2007, p. 46) which is also stated as a global phenomenon in 'An Agenda for Peace' of the UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali (1992, p. 1).
Furthermore, the theory of democratic peace also supports the condition that democracies are natural peaceful among themselves (Morgan, 2007, p. 28) and assumes that if democracy spreads all over the world, war will disappear, while 'the democratic zone of peace' will be occurred such as in the North Atlantic region (Sheehan, 2008, p. 212) and Scandinavia. In the real world, this concept and assumption has been adopted actively in the American foreign policy during the period of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. This can validate the concept of democratic peace accordingly. However, it has to be noted that the danger can occur in mobilizing this concept if any states, which tend to be the US, try to exploit or manipulate the notion of promoting democracy by concealing other objective such as national interest, influence over other states and benefits from other states' natural resources. The Iraq War 2003 till now of the George W. Bush administration is the best example of this caution. Additionally, the United Nations has also applied this concept on the basis that there is an obvious relation between the promotion of democratic practices and the accomplishment of true peace and security; thus, the UN has been obliging to support and provide its resources to strengthen of new democratic institutions (1992, p. 9). Notwithstanding, with logic regarding leaders' constraint, the statistics of the changing in the number of wars and the present application of democratic peace theory as described above, the promotion of democratic states is the only one indispensable condition to secure peace among states but not all.
Continuing to the international-level analysis, the second condition for the best guarantee of peace, in according to Kant, is to construct a federal contract among states to abolish war, not regulate it (Dunne, 2008, p. 112). According to Kant, the federation can be called a league of peace which is neither a kind of world government nor a treaty of peace. In return, this league has no intention to dominate over the power of any free states just only to maintain and securitize the freedom of state itself and among others (Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch 1795). In addition, the meaning of the federal contract above can be contemporarily included international organizations and the intensity of state participation as membership, according to Oneal and Russett (1999, p. 3) did in their study. Oneal and Russett's analysis about the Kantian variables for peaceful international system during 1885-1992 stated that the more democracies and trade interdependence in the system are significant powerful variables for the state of peace whereas the participation of states in international organizations does not affect significantly (1999, pp. 29 and 32-33). Arguably, this conclusion was made in the constraint of time period; whereas, the emergence of many international organizations, for instance IMF, WTO and UNFCCC, and the more intensive participation of states have occurred at the time almost the last quarter of 20th century, which is the small period of their research. Moreover, it is historically obvious that the world has been doing trial and error for more than 200 years ago in finding the suitable and effective federation of states as a condition for peace which starting with the Concert of Europe in 1815-1914, the League of Nations (LNs) in 1919-1945 and the United Nations at present (Gray, 2007). Although, the first two organizations were failed, the last one, the UNs lasts for 64 years till now. This can be the assertion of the validity of this second condition for peace even the UNs itself need to be changed in some ways in the 21st century. In terms of theory, one reason that giving legitimacy to the establishment of international organization comes from the realist's anarchy concept (Fearon, 1995, p. 384). Jack S. Levy (1998, p. 142) concluded from Waltz's (1959) perspective and other neo-realists' that under anarchy war happens because of nothing to prevent it which is inferred to the lack of supranational authority or legitimate governmental authority to maintain peace and prevent conflicts. Conjointly, international organizations, in accordance to the ideas of neo-liberalists and neo-liberal institutionalism theorists, provide tools for cooperation that means to reduce potential of armed conflicts, to reduce the state of prisoner dilemma and to prevent the secret diplomacy which is the origin of many conflicts between states before the birth of Concert of Europe in 1815 (Lamy, 2008). All the above reasons are to confirm that the role of international organization is definitely significant as one of three conditions for peace.
The third condition for building perpetual peace lies in the individual-level analysis. In keeping with Kant, it is the transformation of individual consciousness (Dunne, 2008, p. 112). Namely, the law of world citizenship or the idea of a universal right of humanity should be developed accordingly and the people of the world community have to be developed further that a violation of those rights in any place in the world will be felt everywhere (Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch 1795). Moreover, the concept of universal hospitality, which means that strangers will not to be treated as enemies in the land of another where he arrives, should be applied throughout the world (Ibid.). All of these solutions can be implied as the way to transform the individual consciousness into all human race perception which will be a pathway to building peaceful international system. The examples of the reiteration of importance of the respect to human rights and fundamental freedom in the 1992 UN Agenda for Peace (An Agenda for Peace, 1992), the establishing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and the UN Human Rights Council in 2006 confirm that the word community has already recognized and will develop these matters actively. Together with, the more explicit example is the formation of European Union (EU) which now has most of the above solutions, including the free flow of EU citizens like the Schenken scheme, and comes close to Kant's model. Next in the last part, I will link this third condition to the second argument, which I proposed that the promotion of individual consciousness is a key factor to guarantee peace in the 21st century, by providing how the individual consciousness become into the center of the stage and need to be promoted.
Since the last decade of the 19th century through the beginning of the 21st century, it is hardly to reject that the intensity of individual matters and concerns have been increasing rapidly. First, in regard with types of conflicts, although, in the first part stated about the decrease in the number of the interstate conflicts which is the result of Kantian peace, the number of intrastate conflicts has increased continually (Acharya, 2008, p. 497). The latter wars were called the wars of the third kind or "people's wars" (Holsti, 1996) which lead to the concern of people living in the specific country or area where conflict occurred. Secondly, the threats from terrorism, which has been alerted since the 9/11 attack, are named as the new war or asymmetric warfare which mentions that the two actors in the conflict are different in term of characters or strategies such as the conflict between state and non-state actor like terrorists (Sheehan, 2008, p. 218, Friedman, 2009). This change in the pattern of war forces states to fight with terrorism in the new strategy which focuses on individual. That is because the boundary of states cannot contain terrorists anymore. Reversely, individual also lives in danger because he will be the target of terrorists at anytime and anywhere. Together with, other new transnational threats, including pandemics, disease, disaster and climate change, has been destroying human security continually. Additionally, the concept of human security is the one of the most popular goal in the 21st century that international community wants to achieve in the near future and was mentioned as a goal in the millennium development goal of the UNs. That is because human security can guarantee people from all the above mentioned concerns. Together with, the concept of human rights has been being more important, including the international humanitarian law and the critical concept of humanitarian intervention (Nye, 2009, p. 282). These trends are the confirmation of the continuity of the process to promote individual consciousness in the international system throughout the 21st century. Thus, in order to guarantee peace nowadays, the policy recommendation not only for states but also for international organizations, especially the UNs, should actively focus more on individual consciousness relating to the mentioned national and transnational issues; intrastate conflicts, terrorism, human security, human rights and role of civil societies, together with the maintenance of democracy and engagement with international organizations.
The war between states has been decreasing and seems not to be a big problem of human-being. It reversely means that the more peaceful among states will be guaranteed by the three long-term conditions based on Immanuel Kant's philosophical sketch, especially for the promotion of the individual consciousness as discussed throughout this essay. However, in order to make every single person in this world live peacefully, the more important question which should be addressed is what mechanisms or conditions will provide the best guarantee of peace within states, instead. Definitely, it will be a long journey to that goal but it has to start walking like a Spanish proverb, "There are no roads. Roads are made by walking" (Kissinger, 1994, p. 836).
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