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University of Iowa News Release

March 23, 2004

Global Democratic Peace Topic Of UI Conference March 26, 27

Prominent scholars in the field of international relations will attend a two-day conference dealing with the possibility and implications of a global democratic peace, titled, "A Global Democratic Peace?" The conference will be held at The University of Iowa March 26 and 27, organized by the UI Political Science Department with support from an International Programs Major Projects Grant.

According to conference organizer Kelly Kadera, UI political science associate professor, since Immanuel Kant first suggested democratic governance as a tool for creating and maintaining peace, researchers have attempted to test his proposition.

"Past research efforts have found mixed evidence for the hypothesis that democratic states are more peaceful, but they have found strong support for the proposition that democracies do not go to war against each other," Kadera said. "This has encouraged policy leaders, especially Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, to adopt the spread of democratization as a tool for establishing peaceful relations. However, academic research has not focused on the role democratization has on the system as a whole; specifically does an increase in the global level of democracy make the world a safer place?"

The conference participants will debate this important question while applying evidence from different research agendas dealing with global democratization and peace. The diversity of the participants' theoretical backgrounds and the questions they ask will provide new light on the underdeveloped but important question of how democracy might or might not promote peace, across the world, Kadera said.

For more information, a complete schedule or special accommodations to attend this event, contact Daniel Morey at 335-2370 or at daniel-morey@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, lois-gray@uiowa.edu; Writer: Mansi Bhatia