Publisher description for The liberal illusion : does trade promote peace? / Katherine Barbieri.

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U.S.-China relations and talk of regional economic cooperation in areas of conflict around the globe have made increasingly significant the question of whether international trade provides a path to peace. Scholars remain divided in the theoretical arguments and empirical evidence that they offer to shed light on this question. As policymakers advocate trade-based strategies as capable of achieving many foreign policy goals, the author of this book warns that we must first understand the real impact of commerce on interstate conflict.
In The Liberal Illusion, Katherine Barbieri examines a number of long-standing arguments both supportive and critical of the trade-promotes-peace hypothesis. Using an original database containing trade statistics that date back to 1870 and employing a number of methodological techniques, she conducts one of the most comprehensive assessments of the relationship between trade and conflict. She points to the dangers of relying upon policies whose results may depart dramatically from the assumed effects, and her findings will challenge those policymakers and scholars who have come to accept the liberal vision about the pacifying impact of trade. The provocative arguments in The Liberal Illusion contribute to our understanding of the relationship between trade and international conflict and will have important implications for future policy making.
Katherine Barbieri is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: International trade, International economic relations, Peace, Economic policy