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The frequency of wars

By Mark Harrison

Abstract

Wars are increasingly frequent, and the trend has been steadily upward since 1870. The main tradition of Western political and philosophical thought suggests that extensive economic globalization and democratization over this period should have reduced appetites for war far below their current level. This view is clearly incomplete : at best, confounding factors are at work. Trade and democracy are traditionally thought of as goods, both in themselves, and because they reduce the willingness to go to war, conditional on the national capacity to do so. The same factors may also have been increasing the capacity to wage war, and so its frequency.We need better understanding of how to promote these goods without incurring adverse side-effects on world peace

Topics: HC, U1
Publisher: University of Warwick, Department of Economics
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:1338

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