In Defense of Liberal Peace

6 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2020 Last revised: 3 Aug 2020

See all articles by Jon Murphy

Jon Murphy

Western Carolina University

Date Written: July 17, 2020


In a recent edition of Economic Affairs, Edwin van de Haar provides evidence against the thesis that trade fosters peace. However, I argue his description of the “trade-fosters-peace” thesis as insufficiently precise is incorrect. By its nature, we must use probabilistic language. Furthermore, I argue against his discussion that Adam Smith did not think trade could foster peace between two nations, though Smith is not as strong in the liberal peace thesis as some modern interpreters would argue.

Keywords: Adam Smith, Liberal Peace, Montesquieu, International Trade, National Defense

JEL Classification: B12, B17, B31, F02, F10, F51

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Jonathan, In Defense of Liberal Peace (July 17, 2020). GMU Working Paper in Economics Forthcoming, Institute of Economic Affairs Monographs, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Jonathan Murphy (Contact Author)

Western Carolina University ( email )

1 University Way
Cullowhee, NC 28723
United States

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