CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Economic Interdependence and Peace in Transitional Democracies

Alexander Wooten, University of Pennsylvania

Division: Social Sciences

Dept/Program: Political Science

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): Edward Mansfield

Date of this Version: 01 May 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.



The primary aim of this paper is to explore the extent to which economic interdependence influences the likelihood that a transitional democracy will enter into an armed conflict. The paper demonstrates that economic interdependence is a primary means of avoiding conflict during democratic transition. The concerns of the transitional democratic peace theorists are incorporated into an economic interdependence framework to provide a coherent policy prescription that advocates both democracy and interdependence.

The best circumstances for democratization are those in which countries are interdependent with their neighbors. As an exploration of this hypothesis two cases are explored; one with a complete absence of interdependence and another with a high degree thereof. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the early 1990s provides an example of a war between democratizing countries with no interdependence, while the relationship between Brazil and Argentina displayed increased interdependence without precipitating war.

The paper is divided into two sections, with the first defining the terms of the argument, and exploring the existing theories of interdependence, conflict and democracy. The second section of the paper highlights two cases which underscore the importance of economic interdependence during transitions to democracy. A conclusion comparing the cases and highlighting the need for interdependence follows.


Political Science

Suggested Citation

Wooten, Alexander, "Economic Interdependence and Peace in Transitional Democracies" 01 May 2007. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania,

Date Posted: 22 August 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.




Creative Commons License Articles in CUREJ are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.