Type of Document Dissertation Author Ekmekci, Faruk Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-07142008-160612 Title Economic Foundations of Interstate Conflict in the Developing World Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Political Science, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Dale L. Smith Committee Chair Barney Warf Committee Member Mark Souva Committee Member Paul Hensel Committee Member Keywords
- Interstate Conflict
- Economic Development
- Economic Growth
- Economic Importance
- Dispute Settlement
- Developing Countries
Date of Defense 2008-04-24 Availability unrestricted AbstractDoes the developing world significantly differ from the developed world when it comes to “correlates” of war? Do economic factors influence interstate conflict in the developing world more so than they do in the developed world? How and why do economic development, growth, and importance to the great powers shape conflict behavior of developing countries? And finally, does economic development condition democracy’s purported peaceful influence on interstate relations in the developing world?
In this study, I try to provide partial answers to these questions analyzing the militarized interstate disputes (MIDs) in the developing world between 1951 and 2000 and the negotiated settlement in such disputes. I provide a theoretical approach that rests on the concept of satisfaction and relate economic factors to interstate conflict in the developing world through their effects on states’ satisfaction with the international and local status quo. Briefly, I argue that whereas economic development and growth increase the satisfaction of a developing state with the international and regional status quo and thus make it less conflict-prone, increasing economic importance of developing states to the great powers increase the costs of those states’ militarized conflicts for the great powers, thereby augmenting the incentives for the great powers to prevent the militarization of disputes among developing states with higher economic importance to them. I also argue that, because economic conditions influence the foundation, performance, and survival of democratic systems, democratic institutions in less developed countries will not be as solid and functional as the ones in more developed countries and thus democracy will not have any independent effect on interstates conflicts of developing states; instead, democracy’s influence on interstate relations of a developing country will be contingent on that country’s economic development level.
My arguments on economic development, economic importance to the great powers, and democracy received significant empirical support. My findings underline the importance of economic factors in shaping the conflict behavior of developing countries. An important policy implication of this study is that to achieve sustainable global peace, policies that would foster economic development in the developing world as well as economic integration of developing countries with the world economy ought to be encouraged and supported on a global scale.
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