The Myth of the Positive Impact of Asymetric Economic Interdependence on National Security. The Case of the Sino-Japanese Conflict


In this paper, the aim is to show that the impact of asymmetric economic interdependence on national security is more a myth than a reality. In order to contribute to the discussion we focus on interstate conflicts with territorial disputes. So far, this debate has been highlighted by Liberals, whose argument was that trade promotes peace. However, ourargument is built on the theoretical basis of Realism. We argue that the positive impact of economic interdependence is actually a myth, since it does not raise the levels of national security of the threatened state, therefore it cannot be considered as a power-balancing factor. In order to support our argument wedeveloped an analytical framework, which consists of variables representing economic interdependence and national security.Trade, FDI, energy supply, economic agreements and membership in common economic or monetary organizations are variables that show the level of economic interdependence.Military expenditures, number of violations, possession of nuclear weapons and membership in military alliances are variables that show the level of national security respectively. First, we determine, through objective and subjective factors, which of the two rivals is the threatened state. Second, comparing indicators of economic power, we define the asymmetry in economic interdependence. Third, we analyze the indicators of economic interdependence between the rivals and we examine their impact on the national security of the threatened state. To support our opinion that asymmetric economic interdependence has no impact on national security in this paper we examine the territorial conflict in Senkaku/Diaoyu islands between Japan and the People's Republic of China. We conclude that asymmetric economic interdependence is not a power-balancing factor and it has no positive effects on the national security of the threatened state.  

Keywords: Realism, International Political Economy, National Security

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