The Security–Business Nexus
Edited by Gabriele G.S. Suder
Chapter 3: Historical Forces in International Affairs and Commerce: Prospects for the International Economy
3. Historical forces in international aﬀairs and commerce: prospects for the international economy Yusaf H. Akbar INTRODUCTION Is world trade and investment threatened by the need for enhanced security because of terrorism and the ‘War on Terror’? Will certain regions of the world economy be cut oﬀ from world economic activity because of their high risk? Can capitalist economies maintain their openness in the face of continuous threats to the economic infrastructure of the world trading system? Do new attempts to regulate the ﬂow of international capital threaten the liquidity of the global ﬁnancial system? This chapter examines the events of September 11, 2001 (09/11) in a broader historical perspective. The central theme of this chapter’s contribution is to examine the extent to which 09/11 was a new shift in the development of capitalism – the Huntingtonian-type ‘Clash of Civilisations’ – or whether the events can be explained by reference to existing experience. In doing so, the author attempts to examine the prospects for further intensiﬁcation of economic relationships in the global economy. The principal vehicle through which these issues will be examined will be to oﬀer an analysis of the development of world trade in the face of other historical ruptures such as major wars and global economic shocks. As a rule, historical experience suggests that major conﬂicts reduce the intensity of economic exchange, leading to breakdowns in the functioning of capitalist economies. Similarly, global economic shocks such as a pandemic or oil price shocks slow economic...
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