Since 1975, there are four waves of democratization. The first wave saw the democratization of the Iberian Peninsula in the mid 1970s, that is, in Spain and Portugal. The second wave was marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The third wave saw the expansion of democracy throughout the Baltics and Eastern Europe through the coloured revolutions in the late 1990s and mid 2000. The most recent wave is the Arab Spring in January 2011.
Countries that increase in democratic stature and standing have to learn how to co-exist among themselves – and with others – beyond subscribing to the belief that democracies do not go to war.
They have to understand the rule of law in terms of ameliorating their conflicts and tensions through third party mediation, referral to the International Court of Justice, and bilateral negotiations. Democracy and the rule of law seek to promote moderation through better understanding of democratization, and legalization of disputes, especially with specific reference to international law.