Military Power, Conflict, and Trade

Military Power, Conflict, and Trade

Military Power, Conflict, and Trade

Military Power, Conflict, and Trade

Synopsis

How are military power and international trade related? Does the relationship vary from one country to another? Michael Gerace's study examines the relationship between military power and international commerce among the Great Powers prior to World War I.

Excerpt

This book is about the interaction between military power and international trade among the Great Powers prior to the First World War. On the one hand, the book is about the behaviour of the Great Powers themselves up to 1913, with the focus being on how their conflict and rivalry behaviour was entwined with their commercial behaviour. I am most interested here in how patterns of conflict, which persisted in peacetime, both influenced and were influenced by the commercial activities of these countries. On the other hand, the book is about the larger issue of how military power and international commerce interact more generally. The era of the Great Powers, using a substantial amount of their statistical data, is used as a test case for the issues posed in this book. The interwar years and the postwar period, while generally excluded (except in cases where brief comparisons are made), would be the next logical blocks of time to examine.

The organizing concept of this work is that the military power and commerce of large and powerful states are inseparable. In times of major war the secure movement of commodities and military power are the lifelines of a state. In periods of relative peace, trade and strategy are bound together to form the heart of a state's foreign policy. While this book advances the argument that military power and commerce move together, the nature of this relationship, how it behaves over time, across states, and under conditions of rivalry remain to be understood. No study has attempted to explain the full relationship between military power and commerce, and the very question of their relationship has never been directly posed. In fact, the very idea seems like an anachronism in light of current trends in the literature.

The issue of how military power and trade are related is close to the surface of several debates, but no studies seek to answer the question

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