Economic Cooperation and Regional Security

in Program

Michael Krepon and Chris Gagne, eds.

Three commissioned essays investigate the linkages between cross-border economic interactions and regional security, focusing on India-Pakistan, Japan-China, and Argentina-Chile. The purpose of this collection of essays is to probe deeper into the dynamics of cross-border economic relations and regional security. Under what conditions are cross-border economic interactions most likely to generate positive spill-over effects for regional security? And when are the benefits of interstate economic investments and trade unlikely to be transferable to the security domain?

  • In Exploring the Impact of Economic Cooperation on Political Security Relations between Argentina and Chile, David R. Mares of the University of California, San Diego, has provided us with a success story. Although Argentina and Chile nearly fought a war in 1978, subsequently, these countries have successfully resolved over twenty territorial disputes. Chilean government pension funds have been invested in Argentine power grids that were once, presumably, on the Chilean Air Force’s list of targets in the event of war. In this case, economic interactions have clearly facilitated regional security.
  • In China and Japan: Economic Partnership to Political Ends Katherine G. Burnsof the Massachusetts Institute of Technology presents us with the curious case of China and Japan. Here, regional security in East Asia has benefited far less than one might expect, given the extent of bilateral economic interactions.
  • In Economic Cooperation and Security Spill-Overs: The Case of India and Pakistan E. Sridharan of the University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India offers us the bleak case study of India and Pakistan. To date, the only major, cross-border success story on the subcontinent is the Indus Waters Treaty, which is predicated on separate utilization of river waters and joint commitments not to take actions disturbing their flows. Sridharan makes a strong case for cross-border pipeline projects and power grids that require integration and positive acts of cooperation.
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