Why are democracies pursuing more military conflicts, but achieving worse results? Democratic Militarism shows that a combination of economic inequality and military technical change enables an average voter to pay very little of the costs of large militaries and armed conflict, in terms of both death and taxes. Jonathan Caverley provides an original statistical analysis of public opinion and international aggression, combined with historical evidence from the late Victorian British Empire, the US Vietnam War effort, and Israel's Second Lebanon War. This book undermines conventional wisdom regarding democracy's exceptional foreign policy characteristics, and challenges elite-centered explanations for poor foreign policy. This accessible and wide ranging book offers a new account of democratic warfare, and will help readers to understand the implications of the revolution in military affairs.
Proposes a new argument about when the average voter supports war
Shows an original link between economic inequality and military aggressiveness
Supported by a wealth of anecdotal, statistical, and case-based evidence