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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Trade and the flag:integration and conflict in 19th and early 20th century deglobalization

  • Author(s): Chase-Dunn, Chris
  • Anders Carlson
  • Chris Schmitt
  • Shoon Lio
  • Richard Niemeyer
  • Robert A. Hanneman
  • et al.

The density and contours of networks of transnational and international economic integration are hypothesized by many theorists to be causally related to the patterns of cooperation and conflict. [1] The usual notion is that trade creates ties of symmetrical interdependence, which are likely to inhibit conflict. We seek to test this hypothesis in the 19th and early 20th century run-up to World War I. We examine the relationship between the structure of conflict and the contours of trade ties during the 19th century wave of globalization and deglobalization. How were the international trade ties related to the patterns of conflict and alliance that emerged during World War I? Germany was linked by trade, immigration and elite family connections with both Britain and the United States, and yet both World Wars I and II pitted the Germans against Britain and the U.S. But were the trade ties of Germany with its enemies large and significant relative to the total international trade, or were they insignificant elements that had little bearing on the proclivities of nation-states to fight one another? We replicate and improve upon earlier studies that used correlational analysis of nation-state dyads (e.g. Barbieri 2002) and wel also employ formal network analysis to test the earlier finding of a positive relationship between trade ties and enmity.

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