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Spring 2012

"Trading on Preconceptions: Why World War I Was Not a Failure of Economic Interdependence"

Journal Article, International Security, issue 36, volume 4

By Erik Gartzke and Yonatan Lupu

A close look at the events leading up to World War I reveals that the war was not a failure of economic integration as many scholars have claimed. The conflict began in a weakly integrated portion of Europe, and the more integrated powers were roped in through their alliances. Before the war, the interdependent powers were able to resolve crises without bloodshed, but they were also incentivized to increase their commitment to the less interdependent powers. Had globalization pervaded Eastern Europe, or if the rest of Europe had been less locked into events in the east, Europe might have avoided a “Great War.”

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