War, Trade, and Distrust: Why Trade Agreements Don’t Always Keep the Peace

22 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2011 Last revised: 14 Oct 2015

Date Written: August 21, 2011


There is growing evidence that preferential trade agreements (PTAs) provide strong institutional incentives to prevent international conflict among member states, often creating the conditions of trust that can help prevent militarized aggression. We provide an approach to the study of how international institutions influence conflict behavior that considers how PTAs exclude as well as include members and create asymmetrical relationships among members that could exacerbate conflict. PTAs do more than create expectations of economic gains and reduce opportunism; they also create hierarchical relations between states, which can encourage conflict under different conditions due to distrust. We theorize these conditions for militarized international disputes (MIDs), develop appropriate measures using social network analysis, and test our expectations on new PTA data during the period 1950 to 2000.

Suggested Citation

Hafner-Burton, Emilie Marie and Montgomery, Alexander H., War, Trade, and Distrust: Why Trade Agreements Don’t Always Keep the Peace (August 21, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1913981 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1913981

Emilie Marie Hafner-Burton

UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

HOME PAGE: http://gps.ucsd.edu/ehafner/

Alexander H. Montgomery (Contact Author)

Reed College ( email )

3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.reed.edu/~ahm

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