Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Foreign Policy of a Democratic Socialist Regime: From Intervention to Protection to Warfare

Makovi, Michael (2016): The Foreign Policy of a Democratic Socialist Regime: From Intervention to Protection to Warfare.

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Abstract

Discussions of democratic socialism have focused on whether that system is compatible with domestic civil liberties. Less attention has been paid to its foreign policy implications. Despite the widespread acceptance of the democratic peace hypothesis, democratic socialism would be incompatible with peaceful foreign relations. Economic intervention and economic planning – even democratic – cannot be successful without insulating the domestic economy from foreign competition. This implies economic nationalism and autarky. Moreover, democratic socialism is often justified by the notion that the democratic will of the people should be absolutely sovereign. Such a conception of democracy has no place for constitutional limits on power. Such an unlimited democracy would soon prove illiberal and liable to be captured by a demagogic authoritarian dictator, and this would only exacerbate the deleterious foreign policy consequences of economic nationalism. Democratic socialism is therefore incompatible with the cosmopolitan and humanitarian values of democratic socialists.

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