2019 Lafayette Debates


Democracy is the best hope for peace.

Topic Statement

Immanuel Kant posited that if all countries were liberal democracies, war would become a thing of the past. Kant's thinking was revived in the 1960s by scholars arguing democratic governments are less likely to wage war due to, among other things, shared democratic institutions, norms, and values. The 2019 Lafayette Debates topic challenges students to scrutinize the contemporary utility of democratic peace theory. Affirmatives are asked to defend the proposition that liberal democratic habits, norms and institutions are the most desirable outcomes for the promotion of interstate peace. Affirmatives are not asked to defend specific proposals for promoting democracy or democracy promotion in general but instead to focus on the value of democracy as a potential outcome. Negatives are asked to rebut this proposition by arguing either that liberal democracy is not a reliable predictor of interstate peace or that some other theory of interstate peace and conflict should be preferred whenassessing and understanding which outcomes are most likely to promote interstate peace.

Lafayette Debates US National Championship

La Maison Francais, Washington DC


April 19-20, 2019

Tournament Information and Rules

Judge Handbook (Forthcoming)

To Register click here

Lafayette Debates Western Championship

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

March 30-31, 2019

Tournament Information & Rules

Judge Handbook

Lafayette Debates at the

US Universities Debate Western Championship

Tacoma, Washington

March 23-24

Lafayette Debates at Lake Forest University

Lake Forest, Illinois

March 23-24

Lafayette Debates at the

US Universities Debate Eastern Championship

Washington, DC

February 23-24