Capitalist Peace Theory and the Iran Deal

21 07 2015

Jeff Sachs

One of my research interests is capitalist peace theory, the view that cross-border economic interdependence reduces the probability, frequency, and intensity of war (see here, here, and here). I was, therefore, struck by how Jeffrey Sachs closed his recent op-ed piece on the Iran nuclear deal.

The new treaty will verifiably prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon for at least a decade — and keep it bound to nuclear non-proliferation thereafter. This is the time to begin a broader U.S.-Iran rapprochement and build a new security regime in the Middle East and the world that leads toward full global nuclear disarmament. To get there requires, above all, replacing war (including the CIA’s secret wars) with commerce and other forms of peaceful exchange.

P.S. Adam Tooze has published an interesting essay assessing capitalist peace theory in light of the First World War.  “Capitalist peace or capitalist war? The July Crisis revisited.”Cataclysm 1914: The First World War and the Making of Modern World Politics(2015): 66. I’ll post about Tooze’s essay soon.

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