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The Role of Market Forces in Transnational Violence

17 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2011  

Alex Y. Seita

Albany Law School

Date Written: 1997


The idea of a free market has been one of the most influential and successful in history. According to many, it is one of the three fundamental characteristics that define the industrialized democracies-along with representative democracy and the protection of human rights. Today, the process of globalization has expanded the perimeters of a marketplace beyond national boundaries for many commodities to a global market. While not quite global, the market for other commodities may be transnational. Historically, there have been numerous examples of transnational violence caused by economic factors, where countries fought for economic gain or to protect their economic interests. A contemporary example is Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 to acquire Kuwaiti oil. But this is an example of violence generated because governments and national leaders coveted economic gain, not from market forces where private parties - corporate and individual sellers and buyers – interacted with each other.

Part I of this Article will discuss the way in which market forces such as supply and demand can lead to transnational violence. This section also includes examples of the effects of market-driven violence on various parties and explains why a completely effective solution to such violence is unlikely to materialize. In part II, the author analyzes types of markets and how competition and the globalization of markets inure to the benefit of individuals and society as a whole. Problems associated with globalization will also be discussed. Finally, Part III proposes methods by which international violence may be combated, including international agreements concerning market forces and the utilization of nongovernmental organizations.

Suggested Citation

Seita, Alex Y., The Role of Market Forces in Transnational Violence (1997). Albany Law Review, Vol. 60, p. 635 1997. Available at SSRN:

Alex Y. Seita (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

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