While the 2007 IPCC report contained several references to potential links between climate change and conflict, the Fifth Assessment Report, due in 2013-2014, will be the first since a large body of peer-reviewed research on the subject has emerged. Whatever conclusions are ultimately contained therein, there is a much larger body of evidence discussing potential climate change impacts on civil war, non-state and one-sided conflict, and social conflict than on interstate war. The leading journal Science recently published a meta-analysis of 30 studies of intergroup violence, but it included only one that analyzed trans-boundary (i.e., interstate) conflict. In a recently published literature review on the links between climate change and armed conflict, senior researchers at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), one of the main hubs of research on the climate-conflict nexus, explicitly omitted a discussion of potential links between interstate conflict and climatic conditions. These contributions reflect the dearth of scientific studies on the subject.
Interstate conflict | Homeland Security News Wire
So what went wrong? Why is it that globalisation, interpreted as trade liberalisation at the global level, has not lived up to its promise of decreasing the prevalence of violent interstate conflicts? Since 1970, the occurrence of military inter-state conflicts has remained constant, whereas global trade as a percentage of world GDP has more than doubled. Looking at a larger time span, figure 1 suggests that during the 1870-2001 period, the relation between trade openness (the ratio of trade to GDP at the world level) and war is nothing but simple. The first era of globalisation, at the end of the 19th century, was a period of rising trade openness and of multiple military conflicts, culminating with World War I. Then, the interwar period was characterised by a simultaneous collapse of world trade and of conflicts. After World War II, world trade increased rapidly while the number of conflicts decreased (although the risk of a global conflict was obviously high). But again, since 1970 trade flows increased dramatically, but there is no evidence of a lower prevalence of military conflicts – even taking into account the increase in the number of sovereign states.
Inter-State Conflicts in the Horn of Africa - Afrikan Sarvi
European integration was, from its origins, a project of peace, shaped by the destruction and suffering brought by the two World Wars. Economic integration, it was believed, would lead to increased economic interdependence and better understanding, both generated by trade flows. The objective was to make conflict unthinkable, and judged from this point of view it has been a great success. The European experience seems therefore to prove Kant and Montesquieu right. Both philosophers held the view that trade between nations is a pacifying force as illustrated by this quote from Montesquieu (1758): “The natural effect of trade is to bring about peace. Two nations which trade together render themselves reciprocally dependent.” Outside , this vision of trade as an engine of peace has also been very influential: MERCOSUR was created in part to curtail the military power in and , then two recent and fragile democracies with ongoing disputes over natural resources and borders. These disputes are still present but have not escalated into military conflicts, which can, at least partly, be interpreted as a consequence of MERCOSUR. After the end of the Cold War, some commentators went further and interpreted the forces of globalisation as putting an end to centuries of inter-state conflicts, some going to the point of predicting “the end of history”. If indeed, trade between countries promotes peace, as suggested by the European example, then it seems logical that the dramatic increase of trade flows at the global level should lower the number of violent interstate conflicts.
Inter-State Conflicts in the Horn of Africa