Monday, 22 December 2014

Why trading partners go to war.

Dale C. Copeland  is Associate Professor of International Relations in the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia.
Following is an extract from his article "Economic Interdependence and War: A Theory of Trade Expectations," International Security, Vol. 20, no.4 (Spring 1996)"
Does economic interdependence increase or decrease the probability of war among states? With the Cold War over, this question is taking on importance as trade levels between established powers such as the United States and Russia and emerging powers such as Japan, China, and Western Europe grow to new heights. In this article, I provide a new dynamic theory to help overcome some of the theoretical and empirical problems with current liberal and realist views on the question.
The prolonged debate between realists and liberals on the causes of war has been largely a debate about the relative salience of different causal variables. Realists stress such factors as relative power, while liberals focus on the absence or presence of collective security regimes and the pervasiveness of democratic communities.(1) Economic interdependence is the only factor that plays an important causal role in the thinking of both camps, and their perspectives are diametrically opposed.
Liberals argue that economic interdependence lowers the likelihood of war by increasing the value of trading over the alternative of aggression: interdependent states would rather trade than invade. As long as high levels of interdependence can be maintained, liberals assert, we have reason for optimism. Realists dismiss the liberal argument, arguing that high interdependence increases rather than decreases the probability of war. In anarchy, states must constantly worry about their security. Accordingly, interdependence - meaning mutual dependence and thus vulnerability - gives states an incentive to initiate war, if only to ensure continued access to necessary materials and goods.
The unsatisfactory nature of both liberal and realist theories is shown by their difficulties in explaining the run-ups to the two World Wars. The period up to World War I exposes a glaring anomaly for liberal theory: the European powers had reached unprecedented levels of trade, yet that did not prevent them from going to war. Realists certainly have the correlation right - the war was preceded by high interdependence - but trade levels had been high for the previous thirty years; hence, even if interdependence was a necessary condition for the war, it was not sufficient.
At first glance, the period from 1920 to 1940 seems to support liberalism over realism. In the 1920s, interdependence was high, and the world was essentially peaceful; in the 1930s, as entrenched protectionism caused interdependence to fall, international tension rose to the point of world war. Yet the two most aggressive states in the system during the 1930s, Germany and Japan, were also the most highly dependent despite their efforts towards autarchy, relying on other states, including other great powers, for critical raw materials. Realism thus seems correct in arguing that high dependence may lead to conflict, as states use war to ensure access to vital goods. Realism's problem with the interwar era, however, is that Germany and Japan had been even more dependent in the 1920s, yet they sought war only in the late 1930s when their dependence, although still significant, had fallen.
The theory presented in this article - the theory of trade expectations - helps to resolve these problems. The theory starts by clarifying the notion of economic interdependence, fusing the liberal insight that the benefits of trade give states an incentive to avoid war with the realist view that the potential costs of being cut off can push states to war to secure vital goods. The total of the benefits and potential costs of trade versus autarchy reveals the true level of dependence a state faces, for if trade is completely severed, the state not only loses the gains from trade but also suffers the costs of adjusting its economy to the new situation.
Trade expectations theory introduces a new causal variable, the expectations of future trade, examining its impact on the overall expected value of the trading option if a state decides to forgo war. This supplements the static consideration in liberalism and realism of the levels of interdependence at any point in time, with the importance of leaders' dynamic expectations into the future.
Levels of interdependence and expectations of future trade, considered simultaneously, lead to new predictions. Interdependence can foster peace, as liberals argue, but this will only be so when states expect that trade levels will be high into the foreseeable future. If highly interdependent states expect that trade will be severely restricted - that is, if their expectations for future trade are low - realists are likely to be right: the most highly dependent states will be the ones most likely to initiate war, for fear of losing the economic wealth that supports their long-term security. In short, high interdependence can be either peace-inducing or war-inducing, depending on the expectations of future trade.
This dynamic perspective helps bridge the gaps within and between current approaches. Separating levels of interdependence from expectations of future trade indicates that states may be pushed into war even if current trade levels are high, if leaders have good reason to suspect that others will cut them off in the future. In such a situation, the expected value of trade will likely be negative, and hence the value of continued peace is also negative, making war an attractive alternative. This insight helps resolve the liberal problem with World War I: despite high trade levels in 1913-14, declining expectations for future trade pushed German leaders to attack, to ensure long-term access to markets and raw materials.
Even when current trade is low or non-existent, positive expectations for future trade will produce a positive expected value for trade, and therefore an incentive for continued peace. This helps explain the two main periods of détente between the Cold War superpowers, from 1971 to 1973 and in the late 1980s: positive signs from U.S. leaders that trade would soon be significantly increased coaxed the Soviets into a more cooperative relationship, reducing the probability of war. But in situations of low trade where there is no prospect that high trade levels will be restored in the future, highly dependent states may be pushed into conflict. This was the German and Japanese dilemma before World War II.
The article is divided into three sections. The first section reviews liberal and realist theories on the relationship between economic interdependence and the probability of war, and provides a critique of both theories. The second section lays out trade expectations theory. The final section examines the diplomatic historical evidence for the new theory against two significant cases: Germany before World War I and Germany before World War II. The evidence indicates that the new variable, expectations of future trade, helps resolve the anomalies for current theories: in both cases, negative expectations for future trade, combined with high dependence, led leaders into total war out of fear for their long-term economic position and therefore security.

In essence: things are not as simple as they may seem.

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Thursday, 11 December 2014

Season's geetings with a difference

Go here and

Merry Xmas

And to spice things up take a look below.

This map and included graphic were copied from the website  MIGNATIOU.COM.
I think any comment is unnecessary.

Οι τουρκικές δραστηριότητες στην κυπριακή ΑΟΖ

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Imia no 2


New incident at Imia

Second Imia episode was reported on Monday 8-12-14 with a Turkish coastguard vessel chasing Greek fishing boat out of the Imia waters.
As usual  not a single voice heard from any Greek authorities.

For those who are not very sure of where exactly Imia is: the map t shows IMIA as two small dots between Kalimnos on the left and Turkish mainland on the right.
The green island on the North West is Kalolimnos.

In the second map the two rocks with the interesting naming in both Greek and Turkish!

Apparently this was done because of complaints by the Turks.

imia 4
Below there  is a  photo of how the incident was reported by the Turkish media showing the Turkish coastguard vessel  with the much smaller fishing boat on its port bow.

The pictures of the incident have been published by the Turks, showing the importance given by Turkey (since a large part of its foreign policy becomes apparent by the media) to the publication of these incidents.
So the Turks want all incidents to become very public, common knowledge, in opposition to the Greek authorities which NEVER admit of any incident and in general keep very quiet about them all.
Have you ever thought WHY?

Below photo of the Turkish coastguard vessel between the two Imia rocks.

imia 1

One question that we would like to ask:

Where is the Greek government?

Monday, 8 December 2014

Have teeth will bite...

The result of the Turkish visit to Athens, or a secret plan?


 Fields/blocks  located south of Cyprus.
TOTAL has now withdrawn from exploration.
It has been anounced that Greece and Turkey have agreed  that all exploration should stop in fields 3 and 9.
Field 9 is te field drilled by ENI-COGAS and field 3 is (illegaly) explored by Turkey.
Soon after the Turks found a huge deposit, a deal was struck between them and the Greeks, while Cypriot president Anastasiadis is in a New York Hospital for a heart operation (!?).
This is the result of a High Council of Greek - Turkish Cooperation meeting.
It's been said that the stopage is temporary until both sides sit together to find a solution to the  Cypriot problem.                                                        
In other words what the Turk wants the Turk gets.
Me thinks...  
For those who are not sure about how the  whole thing works here is an explanation:
Italian/Korean ENIKOGAS will drill for   Cyprus in fields 2 and 3 (Zenon) and 9 (Anasagoras).
French TOTAL will drill in fields 10 and 11.
USA Noble will  drill in field 12 (Aphrodite, worth some 4 to 6 trillions of barrels of gas!).


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Turkish visit to Athens; a good idea?

What happened at the Athens Greek-Turkish forum on Friday 5-12-14?

While Mr Samaras and Mr Davoutoglou were speaking, a genie distributed thisTurkish Government (Ministry of Economy) pamphlet in which Cyprus republic is shown as GCA ( Greek Cypriot Administration).
Of course some of the guests were upset but no further action was taken than a few disapproving murmurs.


What happened at Maximou?

As soon as Mr Davoutoglou entered Maximou he made the following "friendly" declaration about the Greko-Turkish relations:  Everything can change except geographic locations. We can talk about everything else. Before there is rejoicing let me say that the term geographical location is quite different from the term geographic border. So what he really meant was that he is here to change the status quo of the Aegean.

So what's all this?


Another slap in the face by the Turks?

A Greek ultimate cool?

What do you think?