Geopolitics, Institutions, and Economics: On the Rise and Decline of Civilizations

By Weede, Erich | Geopolitics, History and International Relations, January 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Geopolitics, Institutions, and Economics: On the Rise and Decline of Civilizations


Weede, Erich, Geopolitics, History and International Relations


The purpose of this paper is to combine the analysis of geopolitics and economics. Such a project is necessarily ambitious and likely to suffer from many deficits. Since the literature in both fields is huge, important contributions must have been looked. But global reality is insufficiently reflected by the departmental structure of academic studies. Geopolitics does affect the economy and our prosperity. Economic freedom and limited government are the fruits of geopolitical accidents like European disunit)' as well as the ultimate source of the rise of the West. The export of economic freedom which we call globalization has contributed to catch up growth elsewhere, particularly in East Asia, thereby reducing global income inequality somewhat, challenging Western dominance, but simultaneously raising the prospect of a capitalist peace between the West and its challengers. While economic freedom and markets generate miracles, governments tend to fail. They build unsustainable welfare states in aging societies, run up ever higher mountains of debt, establish unviable monetary unions, and permit a type mass immigration that undermines human capital as well as economic freedom and thereby the growth prospects of Europe. Western governments, more so in Europe than in America, do not only fail at home. As the Euro crisis and the Ukrainian crisis demonstrate, responses to interstate disputes neglect the likely consequences as much as many domestic policy choices do. Self-defeating policies undermine the viability of capitalism or free markets in Europe, thereby endangering the prospect of a capitalist peace between rising and declining powers. In such a disorderly situation, attempts to combine the analysis of geopolitics and economics have to be undertaken.

1. Economic Growth, Prosperity and Global Power Balances

Economic growth determines human well-being as well as power balances. Because of its rapid economic growth it has long been predicted that the Chinese economy is likely to become equal to the American one in size - but, of course, not yet in living standards - before 2020 (Maddison 1998: 17, 96). The rise of China and more slowly of India will continue to make global poverty rates and even inequality between human beings on earth fall (Bouguignon 2015) and simultaneously affect the global balance of power.1 According to Maddison's (2007: 343) estimates, China might control about 23%, the USA 17%, and India 10% of gross world product in 2030. In the long run, economic development determines the rise and decline of nations which affects power balances, power transitions and the risk of war (Organski and Kugler 1980; Kugler and Lemke 1996).2 Although this is not the place to attempt analyzing the two world wars and the subsequent cold war of the 20th century, it is obvious that the world wars could not have happened without rapid German economic growth before 1914 and the Anglo-German power transition (Organski 1958), that the Asian-Pacific part of the second world war could not have happened without Japan's successful industrialization after the Meiji restoration, and that the Soviet Union could not have challenged American primacy after World War II without its establishment of a huge military-industrial complex. Although the Soviet Union never satisfied consumer wants, it built rather strong armed forces on a comparatively weak economic foundation (Luttwak 1983).

The most likely future power transition concerns the United States and China. Since neither the Russian, nor the Indian economy come even close to half the size of the Chinese economy, since Europe and Japan are allied with the United States as well as still disinclined to remilitarize, the only conceivable challenger of US hegemony on the horizon is the People's Republic of China (Weede 1999). According to Mearsheimer (2001: 14), "China and the United States are destined to become adversaries as China's power grows." For adherents of the Realist school of thought in international relations, the two strongest powers in the world are likely to become enemies because of what they are capable to do against each other. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Geopolitics, Institutions, and Economics: On the Rise and Decline of Civilizations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.