Commercial peace update

Aug 15, 2005

Cross-posted on my blog.

On June 27, I blogged about Thomas Friedman’s old claim that “no two countries that have McDonald’s have ever fought a war since each got McDonald’s.”

That was falsified by the NATO/US bombing of the former Yugoslavia.

Now, it seems, Friedman’s new book, The World is Flat makes a similar claim. This quote by the author is from a book review in the July Progressive:

““The Dell Theory stipulates: No two countries that are both part of a major global supply chain, like Dell’’s, will ever fight a war against each other as long as they are both part of the same global supply chain. Because people embedded in major global supply chains don’’t want to fight old-time wars any more,””

The critic, Amitabh Pal writes that this theory too “will also quite likely be proven wrong in the coming years.”

Obviously, the thesis is simply another variant of the old argument that economically interdependent states don’t make war with one another.

Yawn.

Feel free to discuss this, I’m going to do something else.

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Rodger A. Payne is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville. He serves on the University’s Sustainability Council and was a co-founder of the Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice program. He is the author of dozens of journal articles and book chapters and coauthor, with Nayef Samhat, of Democratizing Global Politics: Discourse Norms, International Regimes, and Political Community (SUNY, 2004). He is currently working on two major projects, one exploring the role of narratives in international politics and the other examining the implications of America First foreign policy.