Written by John Ferejohn and Frances McCall Rosenbluth, with the subtitle War, Peace, and the Democratic Bargain, this is a very important book. Here is the main thesis:
If the modern democratic republic is a product of wars that required both manpower and money for success, it is time to take stock of what happens to democracy once the forces that brought it into being are no longer present. Understanding war’s role in the creation of the modern democratic republic can help us recognize democracy’s exposed flanks. If the role of the masses in protecting the nation-state diminishes, will the cross-class coalition between political inclusiveness and property hold?
…a second question is what is to become of the swaths of the world that were off the warpath in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries when the European state was formed? Continued and intense warfare forged democracies with full enfranchisement and protected property rights in the Goldilocks zone: in countries that had already developed administrative capacity as monarchies, and where wars were horrendous but manageable with full mobilization…
The bad news is that in today’s world, war has stopped functioning as a democratizing force.