chapter  8
Democracy and Prevention of Mass Violence
Pages 23

Democracies thrive by finding ways to deal fairly with conflicts and to resolve them below the threshold of mass violence. They develop ongoing mechanisms for settling disagreements.1 People who live in pluralistic democracies become accustomed to diverse needs and learn the art of working out compromises that offer something to satisfy all groups involved. That is why the worldwide spread of democracies and the application of democratic principles to intergroup and internation conflicts are an essential part of preventing mass violence, especially genocide. Patiently constructing strong democracies everywhere strengthens an important tool for nonviolent conflict resolution worldwide. It is a difficult process, but the general tendency has been clear and strong over many years in many places. And much is being learned about how it can be done. A democracy cannot be imposed by force, nor will a single, premature election lead to peace and prosperity.