INTERNATIONAL TRADE AS AN INSTRUMENT OF PEACE BUILDING
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This research explores the relationship between international trade and peace building using liberal peace theory and democratic peace theory as frameworks. Secondary data collection and content analysis were used to examine the impact of international trade on economic growth, political stability, and peace building efforts between states. Findings highlight the positive contribution of international trade to building peace, as it promotes economic development and stability among nations. The study also identifies how international organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) foster peace building efforts among member and non-member states. Overall, the research demonstrates that international trade is an instrument of peace building and provides evidence for its potential to promote peaceful relations between states.
Key words: International trade, Peace building, world trade organization, General agreement on tariffs and trade,
1.1 Background to the study
International trade is simply the sale and purchase of services and goods beyond the national borders. International trade can be done by governments or firms that have the stamina of operating on the international scale. In fact, the modern world consists of mutual interdependence among various economies of nations. There have been massive and extensive studies of international trade and its impact on the economies of the world whether individual economies, regional economies or global economies. The study of the relationship between the international trade and growth of economy dates back as far as the classic period in the 18th century when David Ricardo and Adam Smith asserted that trade had a general influence on the positive growth of the economy.
The major concern about international trade still remains on its influence on the level of growth of the economy. Trade theories indicate generally that there is always a positive association among openness of an economy, inflation, Investment to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio and export to GDP ratio.
Global peace is an ideal form of freedom, peace, harmonious atmosphere, and happiness among and within all nations and/or peoples (Barbieri, K. and G. Schneider 1999). To other scholars, world peace is a utopian idea of planetary non-violence by which nations willingly cooperate, either voluntarily or by virtue of a system of governance which prevents warfare. Although the term is sometimes used to refer to a cessation of all hostility among all individuals, world peace more commonly refers to a permanent end to global and regional wars with future conflicts resolved through nonviolent means (Gasiorowski, M. and S. Polachek 1982).
While world peace is theoretically possible, some like the pessimists’ school believe that Human nature inherently prevents it, as human nature is evil. This belief stems from the idea that humans are naturally violent and evil, or those rational agents will choose to commit violent acts in certain circumstances. Others however believe that war is not an innate part of human nature, and that this myth in fact prevents people from reaching out for world peace.
When trade relationships and interdependence exist, the costs of destructive conflict (violence and war) for commercial partners are too high. The potential negative economic fallout andinstability can disrupt trade and therefore violent conflict is not desirable for any side. Trade encourages cooperation
Trade increases contact and communication and the necessity to come to agreements encourages cooperation. To successfully create and maintain beneficial trade relationships, partners need to focus on common interests rather than differences.
If world peace is defined as the absence of hostility, violence and conflict, not just between countries and regions, but between individuals, world peace would imply a worldwide end to violence and to institutions which rely on threats of violence to sustain their existence. It follows that there could be no law enforcement, because force is a form of violence. Without law enforcement, there could be no laws, except those which everyone voluntarily agrees to follow.
1.2 Problem statement
Trade increases range of conflict issues When nations become involved in trade agreements, the range of issues over which disputes occur are greater.
Force to access resources/raw materials When markets are opened through trade agreements, local populations lose control over self-determination of their lands. Forced relocation and land grabs are direct factors causing instability and conflict.
The problem here is that throughout the years international trade has always provoked or triggered forms of conflict between trading partners in the international systems. Countries have always found it difficult to maintain stable trade relations without it leading to a war orconflict.so this works seeks to show how international trade can lead to a peaceful coexistence of counties in the international system instead of conflict.
1.3 Research Questions of the Study
1.3.1 General Research Questions of the Study
Can international trade promote Peace?
1.3.2 Specific Research Questions of the Study
➢ Does international trade contribute to peace building efforts between states?
➢ Can international trade promote economic growth and political stability among states?
➢ How do international trade organization contribute in peace building amongst member states and non-member states of the organization?