THE EFFECT OF TRADE, RESOURCES, AND MIGRATION ON CONFLICT
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Globalization has fostered increasing regional and global interdependence; a major facet of interdependence is expressed through trade of goods, resources, and people. Using examples of conflict over the preceding decades and analyzing the countries that have been involved in episodes of conflict, we look at the nexus between trade and conflict and examine their political economy and international relations to find relationships and correlations. The first chapter analyzes the relationship between trade and conflict and whether bilateral trade agreements (BTA) can mitigate the likelihood of interstate conflict between states. We find that signing and implementation of the BTA should reduce the likelihood of conflict between the states as long as the terms of the BTA are upheld and enforced by both parties. The second chapter explores the relationship between the types of goods that are traded and conflict. We find relationship in increasing intrastate but not interstate conflict. In order for countries to reduce this risk, they should seek to reduce their reliance on the trading of primary commodities and foster greater transparency, stronger institutions, and better governance coupled with economic development. The third chapter examines the effect of human migration on conflict, which has wide ranging implications on the exchange of knowledge and ideas. Migration seemed to have an inconsistent effect on the propensity of conflict that is unique to every example. Migration tended to increase during the onset and immediately after episodes of conflict but most often to third countries that are not involved with the country. It is clear that interdependence is increasing when viewed from the lenses of trade agreements, natural resource trade, and human migration pattern. The confluence of these factors are decreasing the likelihood of interstate conflict, especially in states that have bought into democratic peace, have high income levels, and strong institutions are likely to benefit from interdependence. Fostering good relations with neighbors and your own citizens, signing natural resources, and maximizing human capital to health and education investments will leverage greater interdependence and create a world that is likely to become more prosperous and experience a reduced likelihood of conflict.