Thursday, January 21, 2010

Was Kant Right All Along?

. Thursday, January 21, 2010

Some new research using network analysis supports the theory of the liberal peace. Here's the abstract:

Classical-liberal arguments about the pacifying effects of international trade are revisited, and it is argued that they consistently refer to the ability of trade to provide ‘connections’ between people and to create a perceived ‘global community’. Dependency and openness are commonly used to test for any pacifying effects of trade in the current literature, but these measures fail to capture some of the classical liberals’ key insights. Several network measures are introduced in order to give natural expression to and to develop the classical-liberal view that trade linkages reduce interstate conflict. These measures applied to trade flows are incorporated in the Russett & Oneal triangulating-peace model. The main results are that trade networks are indeed pacifying in that both direct and indirect trade linkages matter, and as the global trade network has become more dense over time, the importance of indirect links by way of specific third countries has declined, and the general embeddedness of state dyads in the trade network has become more relevant. These findings suggest that the period since World War II has seen progressive realization of the classical-liberal ideal of a security community of trading states.


Bold added. Here is an ungated version [pdf].

3 comments:

Emmanuel said...

This is an interesting paper that's hamstrung by mentioning Kant instead of Smith. The former never said much about the civilizing effects of commerce while the latter had much to say.

Plus, there's much room to confuse a "Kantian" perspective with its well-known English School of IR usage.

Kindred Winecoff said...

I agree - it's isn't an especially Kantian idea. Although the paper could be rectified with the English school, could it not?

Btw, Emmanuel, why did you remove comments from IPEZone? It's a bit unfair for you to be able to come over and disagree with everything I write without extending the same courtesy to me.

;)

Emmanuel said...

Guilty as charged. However, I did add an explanation to my FAQs if it's any consolation.

Methinks the novelty of making comments went when MSM started adding reader's comments sections of their own. If people want to pontificate, they can do so on WSJ, the Economist...even USA Today.

You can remove your comments section too if makes you feel better. Obviously, I can't complain ;-)

Was Kant Right All Along?
 
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