Joseph S. Nye | Has Economic Power Replaced Military Might?
Joseph S. Nye, Project Syndicate: "Political observers have long debated whether economic or military power is more fundamental. The Marxist tradition casts economics as the underlying structure of power, and political institutions as a mere superstructure, an assumption shared by nineteenth-century liberals who believed that growing interdependence in trade and finance would make war obsolete. But, while Britain and Germany were each other's most significant trading partners in 1914, that did not prevent a conflagration that set back global economic integration for a half-century. Military power, which some call the ultimate form of power in world politics, requires a thriving economy. But whether economic or military resources produce more power in today's world depends on the context. A carrot is more effective than a stick if you wish to lead a mule to water, but a gun may be more useful if your aim is to deprive an opponent of his mule. Many crucial issues, such as financial stability or climate change, simply are not amenable to military force. Today, China and the US are highly interdependent economically, but many analysts misunderstand the implications of this for power politics."
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