The Economic Basis of Peace: Linkages between Economic Growth and International Conflict

By William H. Mott IV | Go to book overview

Unlike the commercial revolution of the fifteenth century, the Industrial Revolution provided a new, more agreeable, option: development of an economic power base through intense application of the new factor of production--technology--that had appeared during the century. This option could minimize risk of conflict by creating new markets for new products based on new industrial technologies. The same factor that created the problem was paradoxically a solution: technology.

The fundamental power of the Industrial Revolution was not in the additional factor of production (technology) that it introduced. The critical feature of industrialization (as of commercialization) that could separate growth and conflict was innovation, the ability to create new knowledge and use it to achieve valuable purposes. This ambiguity and paradox have evolved into the still controversial issues of "guns or butter," "national competitiveness," "economic security," "managed trade," and "industrial policy." The evolution, however, has not much elucidated the fundamental relationships between growth and conflict. Nor has it exposed anything more effective than knowledge and human reason for managing either growth or conflict, and understanding the relationships between them.


NOTES
1.
William H. McNeill, A World History ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1961), 5.
2.
John Keegan, A History of Warfare ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994), 135.
3.
Keegan, A History of Warfare, 135; McNeill, A World History, esp. 34.
4.
In Book II of Plato The Republic, Socrates posits a state that grows "beyond the necessaries of which I was first speaking, such as houses, clothes, and shoes. ... Then we must enlarge our borders; for the original healthy State is no longer sufficient. ... gold and ivory and all sorts of materials must be procured." To Glaucon's ultimate assent that this would be the natural consequence of economic growth, Socrates raises the issue of conflict and war by asking,

"Then a slice of our neighbors' land will be wanted by us for pasture and tillage, and they will want a slice of ours if, like ourselves, they exceed the limit of necessity, and give themselves up to the unlimited accumulation of wealth?" "That, Socrates, will be inevitable." "And so we shall go to war, Glaucon. Shall we not?" "Most certainly," he replied. "Then, ... this much we may affirm, that now we have discovered war to be derived from causes [growth & accumulation of wealth] which are also the causes of almost all the evils in States, private as well as public." "Undoubtedly."

Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, trans. by J. Harward ( Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952), 318-319.

5.
Keegan, A History of Warfare, 256.
6.
Keegan, A History of Warfare, 256.

-30-

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The Economic Basis of Peace: Linkages between Economic Growth and International Conflict
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Economics and Economic History ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 6
  • 2 - Historical Perspectives 9
  • Notes 30
  • 3 - Theoretical Approaches 37
  • Notes 97
  • 4 - An Empirical Approach 107
  • Notes 164
  • 5 - A Quandary and a Conjecture 171
  • Notes 188
  • 6 - What It All Means 193
  • Notes 229
  • Appendix A: On Economic Stagnation 237
  • Notes 238
  • Appendix B: On the Three Traditions 239
  • Notes 240
  • Appendix C: On Long Waves 241
  • Notes 243
  • Appendix D: On Foreign Investment 244
  • Note 245
  • Appendix E: On Division of Labor 246
  • Notes 246
  • Appendix F: On Alternative Economies 248
  • Notes 249
  • Appendix G: On Protoindustrialization 251
  • Notes 252
  • Appendix H: On Confidence Levels 253
  • Note 254
  • Appendix I: On Growth Processes 255
  • Notes 256
  • Appendix J: On Static Models 257
  • Appendix K: On Defense of Realism 259
  • Notes 260
  • Appendix L: On Growth Strategies 261
  • Appendix M: On Dualism and Growth 262
  • Notes 265
  • Appendix N: On Lawlike Regularities 267
  • Notes 269
  • Bibliography 271
  • Author Index 289
  • Subject Index 293
  • About the Author 305
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