Isn’t it obvious that greater economic interdependence would yield friendlier international relations? Apparently not:
to my knowledge there isn’t any evidence of a substantial effect of economic interdependence on likelihood of war Â there’s disagreement in the literature, but most scholars find either a modest positive effect or a modest negative effect (and disagree about appropriate measurements). Thus, as far as I know, it’s a wash as to whether interdependence increases or decreases the chances of war. For an account of how interdependence can lead to asymmetric power relations and thus the possibility of conflict, see Hirschman’s work.
Would there be a selection bias here? At what rate would currently friendly countries have war against each other if they were less integrated?
This drives me just enough crazy that I might have to look into it some more…
How to measure economic interdependence? What is War? How do we know when war was prevented by the bounds of economics? How many dollars of trade does it take to prevent a war?
Better yet, if economics can’t explain war and peace, don’t we have to explain why there isn’t a connection? What does correlate with rising tensions between countriIncompatibletable culture? Failures of leadership and diplomacy (i.e. specific blunders… glitches in the Matrix)? Baring economic interconnection as viable path to greater global harmony, are we only left with such fatalistic views?