A democratic empire is a political state which conducts its internal affairs democratically (i.e. with respect for its citizens and their collective will) but externally its policies have a striking resemblance to imperial rule.
Democratic imperialism as such may in fact be a contradiction in terms as empires express themselves with aggression abroad and repression at home. The concept of a democratic empire can likewise be an instrument of social control as with ideology and ideological conditioning generally. Example of empires that have been described in this way are the British Empire and the United States of America based on some of its foreign affairs history (see American Empire).
- Giddings, Franklin Henry (1900). "The Democratic Empire". Democracy and empire; with studies of their psychological, economic, and moral foundations. Macmillan & Co. pp. 3–12. OCLC 8770114.
- Münkler, Herfried (2007). "A democratic empire?". Empires: the logic of world domination from ancient Rome to the United States. Polity. p. 154–161. ISBN 978-0-7456-3872-0.