Egocentrism and violence : a critique of democratic peace theory
Avşar, Şervan Adar
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The main argument of this thesis is that democratic peace theory is violent at both the theoretical and practical level. This argument is developed by drawing on the ideas of French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas on egocentrism and violence. The advocates of democratic peace theory argue that democracies are peaceful in their relations with other democracies, whereas they are not peaceful in their relations with the states having any other type of regime. Therefore, democratic peace theorists claim that the spread of democracy is the basis of world peace. These central themes of democratic peace theory contain implicit egocentric and violent tendencies. First of all, democratic peace theory represents the primacy of the same by making democratic political system an ideal for all states. This is because there exists in democratic peace theory a fundamental narcissism of ego, which takes itself to be the centre of all meaning. Secondly, democratic peace theory is violent since it tries to comprehend the other through thematization and conceptualisation. In other words, through the spread of democracy it reduces the other to the same.