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Debate: International trade reduces conflict

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Does more international trade reduce conflict in the international system?

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Yes

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No

  • Studies find that trade in Africa does not reduce conflict. "Do Regional Institutions Reduce the Likelihood of International Conflict in Africa?". All Academic. - "Previous research suggests that preferential trade agreements may reduce the likelihood of international conflicts (i.e. MIDs) through their impact on increasing trade flows (e.g. Mansfield and Pevehouse 2000). Applying this approach to Africa—which has the largest number of regional trade agreements (RTAs) of any continent, Powers (2004, 2006) found that RTAs do not have a uniform conflict dampening impact on African international relations. She found, instead, that the institutional design of RTAs mitigated their conflict dampening effect. Specifically, African RTAs that included military alliances within their institutional designs reduced the probability of MID involvement and MID initiation; however, RTAs without such institutional designs did not significantly reduce the likelihood of African MIDs. In this study we extended Powers’ thesis to determine the impact of RTAs on international conflict in Africa. Given Powers’ demonstration of the importance of institutional design in analyses of regional institutions, we assess the relative impact of security-based and trade-based RTAs on the probability of African MIDs. The results support Powers’ findings that the institutional design of regional institutions largely determines their impact on international conflict; however, we find that trade-based RTAs have a greater conflict dampening impact than security-based RTAs. While our findings support the liberal view that international organizations such as RTAs are important factors for peace, they challenge the liberal view that trade interdependence reduces conflict (or that joint democracy reduces conflict, as well)."


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