A Slow March Towards Global Peace?


by Patrick Appel

Andrew Mack lists "reasons for cautious optimism":

First, absent a global economic crisis that is far greater than the current one, economic interdependence will continue to grow. This will likely further increase the costs and decrease the benefits of interstate warand hence the risk of it occurring.

Second, incomes will almost certainly continue to grow in the developing world. This will continue to enhance state capacity, which almost all the statistical studies agree reduces the risks of armed conflict.

Third, there are no signs that the international community’s commitment to peacemaking and peacebuilding is waningindeed the contrary is true.

Fourth, in seeking to bring down repressive and authoritarian regimes, there are viable alternatives to violent insurrectionas the mass uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt remind us. Since the mid-1980s the number of autocracies in the world has declined by some 70 percent.[6] Yet strikingly few of these transitions were the result of violent insurgencies; still fewer resulted from foreign military intervention. A substantial number, however, were brought about by unarmed “people power” movementsand without any help from external powers.[7] Such movements offer a promising alternative to violent insurgencies whose success rates have been declining.