Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Role of the Economics in the Discourse of Stability

Security and balance of power are the most mentioned terms in the most of international relations disciplines. This shows the importance of security and balance of power in most of people`s world view. For instance, securization theory was developed by Buzan and Waever and explores the constructivist dimension of security. In addition to this, realists put the security dilemma discussion and balance of power system. For some theorists like Hans Morgenthau, balance of power promotes the stability, of course within the perspectives of security. Moreover, they do not focus on the economics in the discourse of stability.

 However, the role of the economics in the discourse of stability is very important. As Richard Cobden states that most wars were fought by states to achieve their mercantilist goals. So, the economic interdependence is important for promoting stability and international peace. Political instability has arisen out of economic instability. We saw this a few years ago in Argentina where governments were crumbling as soon as they were formed because of the economic instability.

We can understand the role of economics when we compare the post-World War I and II eras. After the post-World War I, we see the war reparations. These war reparations caused economic crisis in the world, but especially on the loser of the WWI, These economic crisis caused the civil unrest. And then we see the rise of dictators like Adolph Hitler and fascism to cause the inevitable war which is World War II.

However, when we look at the post-World War II era, we see different approach. After WWII, there is a huge economic investment to rebuild the loser, especially by the USA through the Marshall Plan. Thus, the economic recovery started, especially in the Europe. Social stability is promoted and this led to advent of liberal democracy and sustained peace is promoted by establishing the European Coal and Steel Community between France, Germany and Benelux which was the first organization to be based on the principles of supranationalism. And it was the forerunner of the European Union. As a result of this, the wars ended in Europe through promoting economic stability first, then political stability. 

Consequently, when we look at the European History, we see the wars and conflicts (such as Alsace-Lorraine) between France and Germany. However, with the establishing the ECSC, the wars ended in Europe in the Cold War Era. So, we see importance of the role of economy in discourse of stability. After the post-WWI, there is a failed approach which was the war reparations for the losers and it led to the WWII. Furthermore, the economic investment for the losers, promoted peace and stability after the post-WWII.
Maybe, the problems in the today`s Rwanda and Afghanistan could be solved through the economic stability.

İsa Burak GONCA