State Violence in a Liberal Democracy Analytical Essay

Short exploration of whether or not violence is ever acceptable in liberal democracies.
# 150425 | 814 words | 8 sources | APA | 2012 | GB

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This paper analyses the often uneasy relationship between liberal democracies and political violence. First, the paper traces the rise of the modern liberal democratic states, further discussing the elements necessary for it to exist. Various political philosophers are cited regarding their views on government. Then, the paper considers the role of might in a liberal democracy. The paper concludes by stating that in any modern liberal democratic state, the state itself must retain a capacity for violence for the protection of the majority of its own citizens.

From the Paper:

"Liberal democracy and the 'Modern State' is about the search for economic prosperity and stability in any form. However if the state is to have an effect globally in a legitimate manner it has to be seen to be stable by the people at home. Even when government edicts turn inward to destroy an enemy (Note Terrorism, unstable economics found in banking, unemployment) this can be legitimate if it is in the interests of the majority of the citizens and is not excessive. There may be the use of some force that some would define as violence. However this is still seen as extremely controversial.
"We must also note that any state is made up of systems, organizations and bureaucracies. It is these that define what the state should be; who controls what; and how it should be controlled. The state must retain power to succeed in policies regardless of Liberal Democratic principles. Otherwise it would be virtually impossible for government to function. There has been compromise and negotiation in the history of democracy but in practice there is a need for the state to retain strong powers."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Hall and Gieben (1994): 'Formations of Modernity. Polity Press, Oxford, Open University
  • Hughes. B (2009) The Paradox of Identity Security in Liberal Democracy: The Mitigation and Facilitation of Recourse to Political Violence ( E-Article review
  • Hughes B (2005) The 'Fundamental' Threat of (Neo)Liberal Democracy: An Unlikely Source of Legitimation for Political Violence E-Article
  • Hobbes T: (1968) Leviathan Harmonsworth , Penguin
  • Macpherson, C. B. 1972. The Real World of Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

State Violence in a Liberal Democracy (2012, February 16) Retrieved February 05, 2023, from

MLA Format

"State Violence in a Liberal Democracy" 16 February 2012. Web. 05 February. 2023. <>