Abstract: Democratic Peace Theory argues that democratic countries are constrained by political forces in a manner that reduces the likelihood such states will resort to warfare to resolve disputes. This paper extends this argument to consider what happens when countries, democratic or otherwise, are forced to deal with nearby conflicts they are not engaged in themselves. Do political mechanisms still determine what decisions are made, or do cultural forces matter more, as has been suggested by critics of the theory? A case study of Vietnam responding to the Russo-Ukrainian war is used to explore these ideas, and some preliminary conclusions reached.
Key words: Democratic Peace Theory, Vietnam, Ukraine, Russo-Ukrainian War