The effects of international trade (commerce) on global peace?

In news items, globalization often goes hand in hand with world trade, international investments, and currency exchanges and their adverse consequences on common people. Economic interdependency has undoubtedly been connected with both opulence and poverty from the individual to the international level. However, the international trade also affects the international stages in more than one way. International commerce has a prevalent influence over diverse fields of human activity due to the propagation of transboundary political, economic, and military issues all over the world. Within the various reasons on which economic internationalists base their argumentation to favour free economic interchanges and foster economic development, non-economic reasons shed a new light on the promotion and preservation of peace on the world stage.

First, economic interchanges favour world cooperation. Countries that are interested in benefiting from international trade and commerce necessarily need to create friendly relations with other states. On the one hand, economic interactions between two different states inevitably necessitate that those countries augment the number of their contacts for different reasons. For instance, such as in Europe, countries establish a legal framework so as to regulate their respective requirements as regards customs standards. Consequently, diplomatic relations intensify in order to settle economic and legal compromises to facilitate the transports through borders. Accordingly, countries that are involved in international commercial and financial activities not only augment their contacts with foreign countries but they also tighten those links in order to preserve their prosperity. On the other hand, economic interactions between different states necessarily arouse interest in the general population for what appears as “exotic”. For example, the fact that individuals appreciate the culture of foreign countries when they travel abroad for trading their products or when they accommodate foreign representatives spreads a better comprehension of other cultures. As a consequence, economic interchanges enhance the comprehension, cooperation, and interactions between countries and, thus, strengthen the political connections that promote world cooperation.

Second, economic interchanges help dwindle violence between states. Countries rely more and more on supplies of materials from foreign origin, which certainly refrains them from attempting aggressive behaviours against states that do not support their political beliefs. Indeed, in case of war, producers can cease the providing of essential resources for their counterparts, such as oil or water, or even blockade their trade networks, which can prove to be detrimental to their economies. Furthermore, citizens of the countries in the south hemisphere are more and more resentful towards north states as the northern affluence expands and as the southern poverty runs rampant. Consequently, the expansion of economic interchanges between and within the two hemispheres can fill the gap of the south’s sense of relative deprivation and, thus, alleviate tensions between northern and southern countries. Therefore, economic interchanges help maintain previous diplomatic relations in addition to slow down the impoverishment in the southern hemisphere and, thus, relieve the feeling of resentment against the north that is a main cause of potential menace to global security.

Third, economic interchanges promote democracy all over the world. The propagation of commercial and financial activities between states leads to the subsequent dissemination of the concept of free enterprise on the world stage. Indeed, the capitalist system promotes certain principles, which remain essential for its perpetuation. For instance, the capitalist system encourages independent decision-making for expanding commerce. Furthermore, it also favours the free circulation of flows of ideas within a state and with the outside world in order to enhance the required intellectual emulation for achieve commercial success. Finally, the capitalist system also intensifies the development of puissant financial interests through investments in transnational businesses. The common feature of all those characteristics is that capitalism favours the propagation of liberty. However, in terms of political system, liberty shapes democracies rather than dictatorial regimes. The multiplication of channels of communication and their subsequent dissemination of foreign influences in a society overwhelm the stringent regulations of authoritarian systems. Consequently, economic interchanges indirectly promote democracy through the undermining of authoritarian political regimes. Finally, the propagation of democracy tends to encourage the resolution of conflicts through diplomatic ways rather than through war and, thus, reduces potential menace to global security.

Whether analysts agree or disagree with the potential beneficial effects of globalization, economic interchanges retain a powerful grip on the current domestic and transnational economic relations. Moreover, those relationships induce a political reorganization of the world since it keeps a significant influence on all types of political systems, and particularly authoritarian regimes, due to the expansion of cooperative behaviour from the individual to the international level. The slow disappearance of unilateral economic policies and the gradual augmentation of international commercial and financial rules through collaborative commercial activities and expansionist support to economic developments lessen the number and the intensity of the menaces against global security in the short term caused by resentful emotions felt by individuals. In addition, they also diminish the propensity to exacerbate conflicting relations between states in the long run due to political divergences. Finally, economic interchanges seemingly create and maintain a peaceful climate on the international stage, which reinforces the position of democracy in world politics.