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

By William H. Mott IV | Go to book overview
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accompanying inverse growth-conflict relationship. In the amazing world of both multinationals and countries sharing both power and wealth, this unique political-economic process may be at least a part of the key to sustained prosperity and general peace.

Collaboration, in addition to competition, among and between national states and multinational enterprises can bring the full potential of national and multinational power to bear not only on national interests and corporate profits, but on the host of insistent problems that continue to vex mankind. Deliberate management of foreign direct investment by both government and industry, with deepening political-economic awareness of its effects on both growth and conflict, may provide the key to the sustainable peace and prosperity that neither has been able to bring alone.

Richard N. Haass, "Paradigm Lost," Foreign Affairs 74 (January/ February 1995): 43.
See M. Castells, "High Technology, Economic Restructuring, and the Urban- regional Process in the United States," High Technology, Space and Society (Urban Affairs Annual Reviews), 28 ( 1985): 11-40.
The universe of modern economic growth is barely a sixth of the world's countries; these results say nothing at all about most of the world's countries and peoples. The mean correlations presented in Chapter 4 imply only that conflict and growth are related more often than not; any linkage between them is associational, not causal. The relationship between types of growth and types of relationships shown in Chapter 4 is a lawlike regularity, not a law.
It is easy to forget that annual growth of 0.8% was seen as virtually impossible in the seventeenth century. Historical comparisons suggest that countries that began modern economic growth in the presence of other countries that had already grown, have grown faster than their predecessors. The first country to experience MEG, Britain shifted toward dynamic growth over more than two centuries. After a century of annual growth at about 0.3%, from 1780 Britain took 58 years to double real income per capita, and led the Industrial Revolution ( 1830-1910) with annual growth of about 1.2%. In 1820, as the United States was entering MEG before industrial expansion, GDP per capita in the United States was about three-quarters that of Britain. Annual growth of the American economy from 1830 to 1910 was about 1.6% (GDP grew at 4.2%, but population also grew rapidly). From 1839 the United States took only 39 years to double income per capita at about 1.8% annually, and by the 1890s was the world's richest country. After the Meiji reforms, from 1885, with increasing influences from the advanced countries of the time, Japan took 34 years to double GDP per capita at an annual rate of about 2%. From 1966 South Korea, with deliberate solicitation of FDI, took 11 years to double GDP per capita at about 6.3% annual growth.
"When Nations Play Leapfrog," The Economist, 329 ( 16 October 1993): 84.
In recognizing the separate results of Cattell and Rummel (see section on "Status- field Theory, Chapter 3) as mutually supporting, the analysis accepts the premise that domestic conflict is not a significant explanation for international conflict, and may confidently be omitted from statistical consideration. Raymond B. Cattell, "The Dimensions of Cultural Patterns by Factorization of National Characters," Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 64 ( 1949): 443-469;


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