Producing Security: Multinational Corporations, Globalization, and the Changing Calculus of Conflict / Edition 1

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Overview

"This is not only one of the three best books in international political economy in the last ten years, it is one of the most important recent books in the entire field of international relations. Brooks integrates security studies and international political economy with skill and wisdom. Focusing sharply on the globalization of production, the author explores its implications for national security, international politics, and international economic relations. In addition, he links the discussion to various theories of international relations."—David Baldwin, Princeton University

"Stephen Brooks has quickly emerged as an original and persuasive voice among international security experts. One reason for this rapid ascent is his sophisticated understanding of international economics and its effects on global politics. This remarkable book breaks outside the confines of the longstanding does-trade-promote-peace? debate to explore the impact of the rise of multinational firms on security affairs—arguably the most important facet of contemporary globalization. Brooks comes to powerful and provocative conclusions about the end of the cold war, great power stability, and security relations among developing countries. Scholars and policymakers alike will be influenced by Brooks' approach and will have to contend with his arguments for years to come."—Geoffrey Garrett, University of California, Berkeley

"Brooks has produced a significant and well-crafted book that addresses an age-old debate in international relations and succeeds in saying something new."—G. John Ikenberry, Princeton University

"A path-breaking work on the globalization of production and international conflict. While other writers have been content to manipulate the black boxes of trade and conflict or international production and conflict, Brooks has opened up the boxes and looked inside."—Richard Rosecrance, University of California, Los Angeles

"Producing Security will transform how we understand the age-old question of the impact of international commerce on international security and war. Brooks argues persuasively that the globalization of production is the key feature of the current international economy and, therefore, the traditional focus on international trade is outdated. Brooks then develops a comprehensive theory of how the globalization of production could influence security, exploring whether states can still maintain autarkic security policies and whether the economic benefits of expansion have been reduced. His conclusions, supported by thorough empirical analysis, are optimistic—the globalization of production is a force for stability among the great powers."—Charles Glaser, University of Chicago

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Editorial Reviews

Ethics and International Affairs

[A] path-breaking book. . . . [T]his is an innovative, sound, systematic, and insightful volume for all those who are interested in the implications of economic globalization for interstate war and peace.
— Quan Li
Perspectives on Politics - Brian M. Pollins
An original and important work that all researchers concerned with the security implications of economic trends will want to read. Brooks's careful craftsmanship is evident from start to finish. Importantly, he forces our attention away from simple trade flows to the underlying forces of transnational production that will continue to have central consequences for global security in our age.
Ethics & International Affairs - Quan Li
[A] path-breaking book. . . . [T]his is an innovative, sound, systematic, and insightful volume for all those who are interested in the implications of economic globalization for interstate war and peace.
Political Science Quarterly - Tanisha M. Fazal
Producing Security is an important and timely work, and makes a compelling argument for the importance and economic consequences of the globalization of production . . . . [It] merits real praise for attempting to bridge the often all-too-wide gap between international political economy and security studies.
Australian Journal of Public Affairs - Darryl S.L. Jarvis
A much welcomed addition to the security literature; indeed one of the more innovative in recent memory.
International History Review - Geoffrey Jones
Overall, this is a sensible and thoughtful contribution to the international relations literature. Brooks is to be congratulated for being willing to engage with the realities of the contemporary global economy, and to put forth bold theories about their security implications.
From the Publisher
"An original and important work that all researchers concerned with the security implications of economic trends will want to read. Brooks's careful craftsmanship is evident from start to finish. Importantly, he forces our attention away from simple trade flows to the underlying forces of transnational production that will continue to have central consequences for global security in our age."—Brian M. Pollins, Perspectives on Politics

"[A] path-breaking book. . . . [T]his is an innovative, sound, systematic, and insightful volume for all those who are interested in the implications of economic globalization for interstate war and peace."—Quan Li, Ethics and International Affairs

"Producing Security is an important and timely work, and makes a compelling argument for the importance and economic consequences of the globalization of production . . . . [It] merits real praise for attempting to bridge the often all-too-wide gap between international political economy and security studies."—Tanisha M. Fazal, Political Science Quarterly

"An original and important work that all researchers concerned with the security implications of economic trends will want to read. Brooks's careful craftsmanship is evident from start to finish. Importantly, he forces our attention away from simple trade flows to the underlying forces of transnational production that will continue to have central consequences for global security in our age."—Glen Hastedt, Perspectives on Politics

"A much welcomed addition to the security literature; indeed one of the more innovative in recent memory."—Darryl S.L. Jarvis, Australian Journal of Public Affairs

"Overall, this is a sensible and thoughtful contribution to the international relations literature. Brooks is to be congratulated for being willing to engage with the realities of the contemporary global economy, and to put forth bold theories about their security implications."—Geoffrey Jones, International History Review

Perspectives on Politics
An original and important work that all researchers concerned with the security implications of economic trends will want to read. Brooks's careful craftsmanship is evident from start to finish. Importantly, he forces our attention away from simple trade flows to the underlying forces of transnational production that will continue to have central consequences for global security in our age.
— Brian M. Pollins
Ethics & International Affairs
[A] path-breaking book. . . . [T]his is an innovative, sound, systematic, and insightful volume for all those who are interested in the implications of economic globalization for interstate war and peace.
— Quan Li
Political Science Quarterly
Producing Security is an important and timely work, and makes a compelling argument for the importance and economic consequences of the globalization of production . . . . [It] merits real praise for attempting to bridge the often all-too-wide gap between international political economy and security studies.
— Tanisha M. Fazal
Australian Journal of Public Affairs
A much welcomed addition to the security literature; indeed one of the more innovative in recent memory.
— Darryl S.L. Jarvis
International History Review
Overall, this is a sensible and thoughtful contribution to the international relations literature. Brooks is to be congratulated for being willing to engage with the realities of the contemporary global economy, and to put forth bold theories about their security implications.
— Geoffrey Jones
Political Science Quarterly
Producing Security is an important and timely work, and makes a compelling argument for the importance and economic consequences of the globalization of production . . . . [It] merits real praise for attempting to bridge the often all-too-wide gap between international political economy and security studies.
— Tanisha M. Fazal
Perspectives on Politics
An original and important work that all researchers concerned with the security implications of economic trends will want to read. Brooks's careful craftsmanship is evident from start to finish. Importantly, he forces our attention away from simple trade flows to the underlying forces of transnational production that will continue to have central consequences for global security in our age.
— Glen Hastedt
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Stephen G. Brooks is Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University, where his dissertation received the American Political Science Association's Helen Dwight Reid Award.

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Read an Excerpt

Producing Security

Multinational Corporations, Globalization, and the Changing Calculus of Conflict
By Stephen G. Brooks

Princeton University Press

Copyright © 2005 Princeton University Press
All right reserved.




Chapter One

INTRODUCTION

SCHOLARS AND STATESMEN have debated the influence of international commerce on war and peace for thousands of years. Around A.D. 100, Plutarch maintained that international commerce brought about "cooperation and friendship" and that the cessation of commercial exchange would cause the life of man to be "savage and destitute." This line of reasoning became particularly prominent in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with the writings of philosophers such as Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Paine, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Montesquieu, and John Stuart Mill. These men were united in their belief that enhanced international commerce made war among states more costly and, thus, that "the natural effect of commerce is to lead to peace," as Montesquieu maintained in 1748. Many of them also believed that commerce was a dynamic force having a progressively stronger stabilizing effect over time. In the eyes of Kant, "the spirit of commerce, which is incompatible with war, sooner or later gains the upper hand in every state."

This sanguine view of commerce as having a strong, positive effect on interstate relations has not been universally embraced. Indeed, many have argued the opposite is true. Perhaps the most prominent early pessimistic statement in this regardwas advanced by Alexander Hamilton. Writing in 1787, he devotes most of Federalist 6 to critiquing the notion that the "spirit of commerce has a tendency to soften the manners of men and to extinguish those inflammable humors which have so often kindled into wars." After running through a series of historical examples, Hamilton ultimately concludes that numerous wars were "founded upon commercial motives" and that "spirit of commerce in many instances administered new incentives" for conflict. Another prominent early pessimist is Frederick List, who argued during the middle of the nineteenth century that reducing participation in international commerce is, in the absence of a universal republic, the surest route to enhancing a state's security. At the dawn of the twentieth century, John Hobson famously maintained that the business activities of firms led to imperialism; a few years later, Lenin then took one step further, emphasizing that not just imperialism but eventually war among capitalist states would be the inevitable result of capitalism.

The belief that international commerce can strongly shape security relations is reflected not just in the writings of scholars over the centuries, but in policy discussions and governmental decisions. Over the years, the optimistic perspective on commerce and security has most strongly and directly shaped policy. David Lloyd George, Cordell Hull, Woodrow Wilson, Richard Cobden, William Gladstone, and Bill Clinton are prominent examples of politicians who have advanced policies premised on the notion that international commerce can promote peace. As we move into the twenty-first century, this view continues to significantly influence important aspects of policy. In the United States, the decision to push for China's entry into the World Trade Organization is the most prominent recent example. In his 28 January 2000 State of Union Address, President Bill Clinton exhorted: "Congress should support the agreement we negotiated to bring China into the WTO, by passing Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China as soon as possible ... [because] it will plainly advance the cause of peace in Asia." While the foreign policy approaches of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations differ greatly on many issues, a key common theme is the notion that promoting economic globalization throughout the world can foster a stable security environment.

Despite the prominence of the view among scholars and policymakers that international commerce significantly influences security relations, up until the 1990s essentially no empirical analysis of this issue existed. In the final phase of the Cold War, prominent scholars such as Richard Rosecrance and Kenneth Waltz continued the centuries-old debate on the effects of commerce on peace, but this discussion was confined to the level of theory. The rapidly growing scope of international economic integration, termed "globalization," has over the past decade led international relations scholars to renew their attention to how shifts in the international economy affect states' security behavior. Unlike almost all previous scholarship on this general subject, the most recent wave of investigations was empirically focused. The general finding emerging from this literature-that trade linkages between states reduce the likelihood of conflict-is important in its own right and, more generally, indicates that the centuries-old contention that the business activities of firms can significantly shape security affairs is, in fact, valid.

BRINGING IN THE GLOBALIZATION OF PRODUCTION

Given the great importance of economic globalization in the international environment, it is crucial to carefully evaluate its influence on security. The recent literature examining how the international economy influences security has produced important new insights, but it suffers from a major limitation: it neglects the most significant feature of today's global economy. Over the centuries, scholars have generally treated the questions "Does international commerce influence security?" and "Do trade flows influence security?" as synonymous. Not surprisingly, virtually all studies in this recent wave of scholarship examine the security repercussions of international trade flows. In the past, such an overarching focus on the security implications of trade made sense. It no longer does. Until recently, trade was "the primary means of organizing international economic transactions." Today, however, trade is a second-order phenomenon: where and how multinational corporations (MNCs) organize their production activities is now the key integrating force in global commerce.

MNC international production strategies have changed in a variety of fundamental ways over the past three decades. These new strategies are characterized by an increased cross-border dispersion of production. For this reason, analysts commonly use the short-hand term globalization of production as a descriptor of these recent changes in MNC production-a practice I will also adopt here. As will be shown in chapter 2, MNCs are geographically dispersing production activities both internally and externally-that is, within the firm itself as well as through the development of more extensive interfirm linkages across borders. More specifically, MNCs have greatly enhanced the intrafirm international division of the production process through a new role for foreign affiliates; at the same time, they have pursued deeper relationships with foreign suppliers and cooperative partners located abroad through international subcontracting and international interfirm alliances.

Although analysts use the language of globalization in describing these shifts, the geographic dispersion of MNC production activities is not truly global in scope. These shifts in MNC production have had powerful effects on some states, but have largely bypassed many others. Specifically, it is among the economically most advanced states that the geographic dispersion of MNC production has been most prominent; the rise of international interfirm alliances, for example, is a trend largely restricted to North America, Western Europe, and Japan. It is also important to recognize that the geographic dispersion of MNC production is not occurring equally across all industries. As will be shown in chapter 2, internationalization strategies have become prominent only in certain sectors.

The unprecedented nature of the globalization of production is a key feature distinguishing it from international trade. Many analysts argue that what we call economic globalization resembles the international economy during the "golden age" of capitalism from 1870 to 1914. However, this similarity is strong only if we treat economic globalization as an aggregate; when we break economic globalization into its constituent parts, we reach a very different answer. The globalization of production clearly represents an ongoing qualitative change in the international economy; trying to advance the same claim about the other two economic globalization trends-of international trade and international financial markets, respectively-is more problematic. In the end, the geographic dispersion of MNC production is the most historically novel aspect of contemporary economic globalization.

Despite the substantive significance and historical novelty of the globalization of production, there has so far been no systematic empirical analysis of its implications for security relations among states. The last detailed empirical examination of how international production by MNCs can influence security affairs was written in 1935. A number of prominent analysts have recently noted that changes in MNC production strategies may have significant repercussions for security affairs, but this is not a primary focus of their analysis, and they do not empirically evaluate the notions they advance. Because systematic data on the geographic dispersion of MNC production does not exist, there is a dearth of quantitative studies of international conflict that use measures of this global production shift. A significant literature did develop in the middle and late 1980s that analyzed the United States' increased reliance upon foreign suppliers for parts and components of military weapons systems. However, this literature, as well as the studies following in its wake, focuses almost exclusively on the consequences of the globalization of production for U.S. defense policy or the structure of the U.S. economy rather than upon the repercussions for international security more generally. This literature also centers upon increases in international subcontracting, which is only one element of the geographic dispersion of MNC production.

Empirical analyses of the security repercussions of trade flows can no longer eclipse examinations of how the globalization of production affects security relations. This book is the first systematic study of how this unprecedented change in the global economy influences international security. Since the geographic dispersion of MNC production is a novel and dramatic shift in the international environment, it is critical to know how it changes the prospects for peace. This analysis shows that the globalization of production has led to major changes in the global security environment that collectively improve the security climate in some regions while decreasing it in others.

THE GLOBALIZATION OF PRODUCTION LEADS TO CHANGES IN CAPABILITIES, INCENTIVES, AND ACTORS

Within the literature that examines how the international economy can influence security, scholars outline a wide variety of arguments. In practice, these disparate arguments can be boiled down to three general mechanisms: the global economy can influence security by changing capabilities, incentives, and the nature of the actors. This book shows that the globalization of production has reshaped the global security environment via each of these three general mechanisms.

Regarding capabilities, the key puzzle is whether the globalization of production has fundamentally changed the parameters of weapons production. As Richard Bitzinger notes, throughout history, "most countries traditionally have preferred to be self-sufficient in arms production." The reasons are straightforward: "going it alone" in defense production makes it possible to guard against vulnerability to supply interruptions and to ensure that strategic competitors do not have easy access to the same vital military technologies. States continue to have a preference for relying on their own resources for weapons production; the key question is how capable they are of pursuing this strategy. Analysts agree that going it alone has become harder in defense production in recent years. Until now, however, we have lacked an understanding of exactly how much more difficult it has become. The analysis in this book reveals that the scales have decisively shifted against a strategy of autarkic defense production: no state, including the great powers, can now effectively remain on the cutting edge in military technology if it does not pursue significant internationalization in the production of weaponry.

Concerning incentives, the key unanswered question is whether the geographic dispersion of MNC production has changed the economic benefits of conquest. Economic gain has historically been a significant motivating force for conflict, and wars of conquest unfortunately still occur, as is demonstrated by Iraq's 1991 invasion of Kuwait and the occupation of western Congo by Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda from 1998 to 2002. Irrespective of the motivation for war, the prospects for stability-that is, peacefulness-will decrease if aggressors are able to extract significant economic resources from newly occupied territory. The current benchmark study of the economic benefits of conquest concludes that conquerors are still in a position to effectively extract economic resources from vanquished wealthy countries. In order to determine whether this is truly the case, we need to investigate how recent economic transformations within the most advanced countries affect the economic benefits of conquest. Until now, this key issue has been neglected in the literature. This analysis reveals that while conquerors are still in a position to effectively extract economic resources from a subset of wealthy countries, they can no longer do so from most. Specifically, I find that the globalization of production has greatly reduced the economic benefits of military conquest among the most advanced countries.

With respect to shifts in the nature of the actors, the primary puzzle is whether the geographic dispersion of MNC production can reshape security by influencing the prospects for regional economic integration. Because regional integration can alter the interests of the group's respective members, scholars conclude that such institutions can play a significant role in the development of stable, peaceful security relationships. Although this line of argument is compelling, a key question remains: under what conditions will states with security tensions be able to consolidate integration in the first place? All the theory we have indicates that it is the consolidation of deep regional economic integration, and not simply the formation of an agreement, that has significant positive security repercussions. And yet, scholars who study international cooperation generally agree that states with security tensions will be least likely to engage in deep economic cooperation. We need to examine whether the globalization of production can exert sufficient pressure to induce even those states with a history of security rivalry to consolidate regional integration. The analysis here shows that it can. I find that this global production shift can, under certain conditions, enhance the prospects for peace by contributing to the consolidation of deep regional economic integration among long-standing security rivals.

The globalization of production has significant ramifications for security affairs by virtue of the fact that it has altered the parameters of weapons development, the economic benefits of conquest, and the prospects for regional economic integration among security rivals. These three mechanisms are the focus of this book both because of their significance in the literature and because they can be directly examined empirically. However, these mechanisms are not the only means by which the geographic dispersion of MNC production can potentially influence security; in total, there are five other mechanisms, all of which I analyze in this book. Two of these additional mechanisms are briefly discussed in chapter 3, while the remaining three are examined in detail in chapter 8. As will be seen, these five other mechanisms are all prospective in nature: they have the potential to influence security relations in the future, but do not appear to have yet played a role. The bottom line is that the globalization of production has already reshaped the international security environment in dramatic ways and may have an even greater influence in the years ahead.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Producing Security by Stephen G. Brooks Copyright © 2005 by Princeton University Press . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures ix
List of Tables xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Chapter 1. Introduction 1
Chapter 2. Understanding the Globalization of Production 16
Chapter 3. Theoretical Foundations 47
Chapter 4. The Globalization of Production and Military Technological Competitiveness 80
Chapter 5. The Globalization of Production, Economic Integration, and Regional Security in the Developing World 129
Chapter 6. The Globalization of Production and the Economic Benefits of Conquest 161
Chapter 7. Current Security Implications of the Globalization of Production 207
Chapter 8. Looking toward the Future 246
Bibliography 267
Index of Sources 295
General Index 303

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