Regional Trade Agreement: Promoting Conflict or Building Peace ? (W-104)

Regional Trade Agreement: Promoting Conflict or Building Peace ? (W-104)

Publication details

  • Sunday | 09 Jul, 2006
  • Faisal Haq Shaheen, Shaheen Rafi Khan, Moeed Yusuf, Oli Brown
  • Working Papers
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Abstract

Economic globalisation has witnessed the rise of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) as a means of mitigating economic and political shocks along with their linkages with conflict. A review of economic literature reveals perspectives that largely support the positive correlation between peace building and economic integration. However, while internal and external factors have been seen to contribute to the growth of RTAs, they have not been devoid of the reality of contributing to instability within and between nations. In fact, while the experience of the European Union has generated a plethora of research that supports the hypothesis that increased trade reduces conflict; the opposite has been found to be true in a variety of dyads surveyed across Latin America, Africa and Asia. The study concludes with cautionary encouragement, in the spirit of SAARC’s inception, that research continue across a wide range of both economic and non economic drivers to ensure that conflict and trade linkages encompass all aspects of sustainable development and contribute to increasing peace and security for all segments of society.