Economic Interdependence and War

Economic Interdependence and War

Dale C. Copeland
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 504
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  • Book Info
    Economic Interdependence and War
    Book Description:

    Does growing economic interdependence among great powers increase or decrease the chance of conflict and war? Liberals argue that the benefits of trade give states an incentive to stay peaceful. Realists contend that trade compels states to struggle for vital raw materials and markets. Moving beyond the stale liberal-realist debate,Economic Interdependence and Warlays out a dynamic theory of expectations that shows under what specific conditions interstate commerce will reduce or heighten the risk of conflict between nations.

    Taking a broad look at cases spanning two centuries, from the Napoleonic and Crimean wars to the more recent Cold War crises, Dale Copeland demonstrates that when leaders have positive expectations of the future trade environment, they want to remain at peace in order to secure the economic benefits that enhance long-term power. When, however, these expectations turn negative, leaders are likely to fear a loss of access to raw materials and markets, giving them more incentive to initiate crises to protect their commercial interests. The theory of trade expectations holds important implications for the understanding of Sino-American relations since 1985 and for the direction these relations will likely take over the next two decades.

    Economic Interdependence and Waroffers sweeping new insights into historical and contemporary global politics and the actual nature of democratic versus economic peace.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5270-3
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-IV)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. V-VI)
  3. Preface
    (pp. VII-X)
  4. Abbreviations for Primary Documents and Source Material
    (pp. XI-XIV)
    (pp. 1-15)

    Does economic interdependence between great powers have a significant effect on the probability of war between them, and if so, does it decrease or increase the likelihood of conflict? As levels of trade and investment between the United States, China, India, and Russia continue to reach new heights, this question has taken on renewed importance amid worries about possible future struggles over raw materials, investments, and markets. Over the last two decades, the number of articles and books devoted to the issue has grown exponentially. And yet surprisingly, we still have no consensus regarding the link between interstate commerce and...

  6. CHAPTER ONE Theory of Economic Interdependence and War
    (pp. 16-50)

    The introductory chapter laid out the basic dimensions of the trade expectations approach and how it could be applied to the history of the modern great power system since 1790. This chapter constitutes a more in-depth look at both the existing literature on interdependence and war and the theory of trade expectations itself. My overall goal is a simple one: I hope to show the advantages of viewing the world through the lens of the trade expectations logic in order to demonstrate that it clears up most of the logical problems that have bedeviled current scholarship. In subsequent chapters, we...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Quantitative Analysis and Qualitative Case Study Research
    (pp. 51-96)

    Over the last thirty years, the study of economic interdependence and conflict has been driven empirically by scholars who use exclusively large-N quantitative methods to test the various competing hypotheses. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find more than a handful of scholars who have ever presented even a single in-depth case study based on the diplomatic-historical evidence, let alone attempted a detailed cross-case analysis of the competing arguments.¹ The vast majority of the empirical studies focus simply on the statistical findings generated by elaborate mathematical models, and thus offer little sense of how the results might apply...

  8. CHAPTER THREE The Russo-Japanese War and the German Wars for Hegemony, 1890–1939
    (pp. 97-143)

    This chapter explores the origins of three of the four most important wars of the first half of the twentieth century: the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–5, World War I, and World War II in Europe (the Pacific War is covered in subsequent chapters). These three wars had more than just a chronological connection to one another. The Russo-Japanese War helped solidify the diplomatic and economic alignments of the great powers in the decade before 1914, while the disaster of the First World War clearly set the stage for the rise of Nazism and the outbreak of yet another global...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR The Prelude to Pearl Harbor: Japanese Security and the Northern Question, 1905–40
    (pp. 144-183)

    The breakdown of US-Japanese relations that led to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 has posed many puzzles for historians over the last seven decades, but one stands out above all the others. Why would a small island nation risk all-out war with a state possessing a much larger economic capacity to wage total war, especially given that the two nations had never had a direct military clash in modern history? Japan was a military great power, to be sure, and its stunning victories in the first six months of war affirm what both Japanese and US...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE The Russian Problem and the Onset of the Pacific War, March-December 1941
    (pp. 184-246)

    The previous two chapters have shown just how important the rise of Russian power was to Japanese leaders of all stripes from 1895 to 1940. Chapter 4 in particular discussed Tokyo’s preparations after 1935 for an all-out war with Russia, and how those plans got diverted by an undesired war with China. This chapter will focus on the nine months leading up to the attack on the United States on December 7, 1941. The puzzle is a simple one: Why did Japanese officials, despite their obsession with reducing Russian strength and recognition of the unlikelihood of winning any war with...

  11. CHAPTER SIX The Origins, Dynamics, and Termination of the Cold War, 1942–91
    (pp. 247-318)

    The goal of this chapter is a broad, probably overly ambitious one. I will try to sweep across five decades of post-1941 great power politics to examine one simple question: What was the relative causal importance of economic interdependence and changes in commercial expectations to the ups and downs of Cold War history? This chapter provides a detailed but summary answer to this question. A companion book on commerce and US foreign policy offers a more complete explication, and readers keen on post-1941 US statecraft will want to consult that volume as well (Copeland, forthcoming).¹

    At first blush, it would...

  12. CHAPTER SEVEN European Great Power Politics, 1790–1854
    (pp. 319-374)

    The previous four chapters showed that this book’s theory could more than hold its own in the most hotly debated cases in international relations scholarship—those of the tumultuous twentieth century. I now turn to an exploration of the relative importance of economic interdependence and trade expectations on the policies of the European great powers from 1790 to the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1853–54. The following chapter takes the story up to 1899 and the start of the South African (Boer) War. Because of the more restricted availability of documents for the 1790–1899 period, I will...

  13. CHAPTER EIGHT Great Power Politics in the Age of Imperial Expansion, 1856–99
    (pp. 375-427)

    This chapter explores the forty-five-year period after the Crimean War when great powers of all stripes fell into an intense competition for formal political control over third-party territories. The competition greatly increased the level of tension in the system, even if most of the struggles stopped short of a direct great power war. Most significantly, of course, we see France, Britain, and Germany dive into a scramble for colonial territory after 1880 that drew most of Africa and large parts of Asia into the European orbit. On two particular occasions—the Austro-Prussian “Seven Weeks’ War” of 1866 and the Franco-Prussian...

  14. CHAPTER NINE Implications of the Argument
    (pp. 428-446)

    This book has sought to demonstrate the significant deductive and explanatory power that can be realized through building a theory that accepts the insights of liberalism and realism but corrects for their limitations. Liberals are right to argue that trade can sometimes provide an important constraint on actors who might otherwise be inclined to aggressive and competitive actions. Yet liberals as a group assume that states are propelled into expansionist behavior by underlying unit-level drives such as greed, glory, and the pursuit of ideological or religious dominance. To borrow from Plato, economic interdependence for liberals is not a force for...

  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 447-472)
  16. Index
    (pp. 473-489)