Articles review: the rise in cross-border trade Essay (Critical Writing)

Overview of the articles

Several questions have been raised about the contemporary trends in international trade. Current trends in international trade denote an increase in cross-border and international trade. This trend has been highly facilitated by the wave of globalization. The increase in trade is aided by elimination of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers.

However, a lot of complaints have been raised concerning the rationale that guided liberalization of trade and how nations across the globe benefit from trade liberalization.1 The three articles present one of the concerns about the rise in cross-border trade and its implications on global security.

The authors of the articles focus on bringing out an explanation on the security issues that emerge as a result of increased embrace of international trade through trade liberalization.

Perspectives of arguments in the articles

Copeland2 approaches the issue of trade and peace in a double perspective. He bases his research on two opposing arguments as far the relation between trade and international security are concerned. The double perspective focuses on theses by realists, as well as theses by liberals. On the other hand, Blanchard, Mansfield and Ripsman3 approach the issue of trade and security by focusing on the emerging literature about the subject.

They seek to establish whether economic interdependence, which is brought about by the liberalization of trade, can result in sustainability of international peace. Barbieri4 approached the issue by seeking to establish conclusions on whether international trade facilitates international peace or it brings about interstate security problems.

Exploring the arguments in the articles

Economic Interdependence: A Path to Peace or a Source of Interstate Conflict?

The impact of trade and interstate relations occupies center stage in the research that was conducted by Barbieri.5 This is evident in the nature of literature that is explored in the article. The author seeks to explore the virtues and vices that have been evident in the conduct of cross-border trade in the world. His research related the critical theories of international political economy in advancing the argument about the impact of interstate trade on interstate politics and interstate relations.

The theories include liberalism and neo-Marxism. In this sense, it can be argued that there is a certain level of similarity between the Barbieri perspective and the approach to the subject of interstate trade and interstate security and the argument that was advanced by Copeland.6

Barbieri7 tries to establish symmetry between interstate trade as a factor that promotes peace, on the one hand, and interstate trade as a factor that promotes interstate insecurity, on the other hand. Both sides present weighty points. Trade is a promoter of conflict, as well as a promoter of peace. From the article, it is argued that the nature of relations between states international trade can be better assessed based on a given theoretical perspective.

According to the liberal view in the article, Barbieri8 argues that interstate trade increases economic interdependence between states. This has a spill over impact on political and social relations between states. While the interdependence itself may not necessarily result in positive relations between states, it can be a desirable basis on which the exploration of interstate conflict can be done.9

Trade expectations and the outbreak of peace: Détente 1970–74 and the end of the cold war 1985–91

In exploring international trade and pointers of international peace, Copeland10 focuses on two opposing theories that are critical in explaining any nature of relations between states in international relations. Of profound focus in his argument is the attempt to bring out the essence of involvement in international trade by states and if such trade relations can be sustained based on the nature of benefits that are derived from trade by the players.

The difference between this article and the article by Barbieri11 and Blanchard, Mansfield and Ripsman12 is that the article is more conceptual in nature, where the author tries to bridge the variation on the theses that are advanced by the realists and the liberals about international trade and security.13

The article goes further to explore the issue of dependency in international trade by focusing on three critical security developments during the 20th century. These three vital developments in security are The First and Second World wars and the Cold War. These events are critical in explaining the way the relations between states were molded on the basis of cooperation in trade and reduction of race in arms.

In addition, the concept of trade security is unearthed and explained by the author in his bid to understand reasons that drive countries into trade partnerships and the underlying factors, most of which determine the ability of states to draw gains from trade and at the same time advance cooperation in other realms beyond trade.

The author concludes that trade expectations occupy the central theses in the case about international trade and international security in arguments that are advanced by the realist and the liberals. Liberals hold on the fact that trade can promote peace by restraining leaders through trade incentives in international trade. On the other side, realists allude to the fact that maintaining a balance in economic interdependence is quite daunting and a potential source of conflicts.14

The political economy of national security: Economic statecraft, interdependence, and international conflict

Blanchard, Mansfield and Ripsman15 direct their argument on the contemporary literature about the antecedents of international trade, which can either work for or against peace in the international stage. The central question in the article is whether economic interdependence, which is promoted by trade liberalization, can promote peace among nations in the world.

Contrary to the approaches that are taken in the other two articles, the author of this article borrows heavily from a number of articles on the subject of economic interdependence and international security. These articles are derived from the same volume. The article digs deep into the manner in which states advance economic relations in order to establish the critical factors in the advancement of economic relations.

This is important in explaining the policies that are developed by states as far as safeguarding of economic benefits from international trade is concerned. What comes out in the article is that economic relations between states are advanced through a political process, and the trade relations between states can either be positive or negative depending on the kind of experiences that are witnessed in the course of trade advancement between states.

Trade sanction is an issue that is commonly witnessed in the international trade environment, and it is an indicator of hostilities in trade. Economic sanctions have political connotations because they are often meant to protect or push for certain political objectives by the state that imposes the sanctions.

The article concludes that the relationship between international trade and security remains complex due to the ever shifting interests of states. The three articles are evidently related in that they focus much of their content in cross-border trade, its development and the challenges involved in global trade.

Bibliography

Barbieri, Katherine. “Economic Interdependence: A Path to Peace or a Source of Interstate Conflict?” Journal of Peace Research 33, no. 1 (1996): 29-49.

Blanchard, Jean‐Marc F. Edward D. Mansfield and Norrin M. Ripsman. “The political economy of national security: Economic Statecraft, Interdependence, and International Conflict.” Security Studies 9, no. 1-2 (1999): 1-14.

Copeland, Dale C. “Trade Expectations and the Outbreak of Peace: Détente 1970–74 and the End of the Cold War 1985–91.” Security Studies 9, no.1-2 (1999): 5-41.

Watson, Alison M. S. An Introduction to International Political Economy. London: Continuum, 2004.

Footnotes

1 Alison, Watson M. S, An Introduction to International Political Economy, (London: Continuum, 2004) 39

2 Dale, Copeland C, “Trade Expectations and the Outbreak of Peace: Détente 1970–74 and the End of the Cold War 1985–91”, Security Studies 9, no.1-2 (1999): 5.

3 Jean‐Marc, Blanchard F. Edward D. Mansfield and Norrin M. Ripsman, “The political economy of national security: Economic Statecraft, Interdependence, and International Conflict”, Security Studies 9, no. 1-2 (1999): 1.

4 Katherine, Barbieri, “Economic Interdependence: A Path to Peace or a Source of Interstate Conflict?”, Journal of Peace Research 33, no. 1 (1996): 29

5 Ibid. 30

6 Dale, Copeland C, “Trade Expectations and the Outbreak of Peace: Détente 1970–74 and the End of the Cold War 1985–91”, Security Studies 9, no.1-2 (1999): 6

7 Katherine Barbieri, “Economic Interdependence: A Path to Peace or a Source of Interstate Conflict?” Journal of Peace Research 33, no. 1 (1996): 33

8 Katherine Barbieri, “Economic Interdependence: A Path to Peace or a Source of Interstate Conflict?” Journal of Peace Research 33, no. 1 (1996): 33

9 Ibid.

10 Dale, Copeland C, “Trade Expectations and the Outbreak of Peace: Détente 1970–74 and the End of the Cold War 1985–91”, Security Studies 9, no.1-2 (1999): 7

11 Katherine Barbieri, “Economic Interdependence: A Path to Peace or a Source of Interstate Conflict?” Journal of Peace Research 33, no. 1 (1996): 34

12 Jean‐Marc, Blanchard F. Edward D. Mansfield and Norrin M. Ripsman. “The political economy of national security: Economic Statecraft, Interdependence, and International Conflict.” Security Studies 9, no. 1-2 (1999): 2

13 Dale, Copeland C, “Trade Expectations and the Outbreak of Peace: Détente 1970–74 and the End of the Cold War 1985–91”, Security Studies 9, no.1-2 (1999): 8.

14 Dale, Copeland C, “Trade Expectations and the Outbreak of Peace: Détente 1970–74 and the End of the Cold War 1985–91”, Security Studies 9, no.1-2 (1999): 8.

15 Jean‐Marc, Blanchard F. Edward D. Mansfield and Norrin M. Ripsman, “The political economy of national security: Economic Statecraft, Interdependence, and International Conflict”, Security Studies 9, no. 1-2 (1999): 5.

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