Beyond Kantian Liberalism: Peace through Globalization?

Although globalization has become one of the most salient issues in the study of international relations during the past few decades, its net effect on international conflict remains unexplored. I argue that although the manifold phenomena of globalization may conflict (i.e. produce both positive and negative influences), its overall consequences help foster a common peaceful disposition among national leaders who are then less likely to resort to arms in times of crisis. Based on a cross-sectional, time-series dyadic data analysis for 114 countries during the period from 1970 to 2001, this study reports that socio-economic and political globalization in its entirety generates a dampening effect on militarized interstate disputes. Even when common conflict-related control variables such as democracy, economic interdependence, joint membership in international organizations, and others are incorporated into the analysis, globalization emerges as the most powerful explanatory variable. Consequently, globalization when taken in its entirety represents an unambiguous force for interstate peace.