Paul Lachine

La puissance économique a-t-elle remplacé la puissance militaire ?

CAMBRIDGE – A la fin de la Guerre froide, quelques doctes spécialistes ont proclamé que la "géoéconomie" avait remplacé la géopolitique. La puissance économique allait devenir la clé pour accéder au leadership mondial, un changement dont beaucoup pensaient qu'il allait ouvrir une ère dominée par le Japon et l'Allemagne.  

Aujourd'hui certains observateurs considèrent que la place acquise par la Chine dans l'économie mondiale traduit une nouvelle phase dans l'équilibre des pouvoirs au niveau planétaire, reléguant à l'arrière-plan la puissance militaire. Ils estiment que cette dernière ne peut que s'aligner rapidement sur la puissance économique, oubliant que les USA ont été pendant 70 ans la première économie mondiale avant de devenir une grande puissance militaire.

Les observateurs politiques débattent depuis longtemps pour savoir ce qui est plus important : la puissance économique ou la puissance militaire ? Traditionnellement les marxistes considèrent que le pouvoir se bâtit sur l'économie et que les institutions politiques sont une simple superstructure - une idée partagée par le courant économique libéral du 19° siècle pour lequel l'interdépendance croissante entre commerce et finance rendrait la guerre obsolète. Mais le fait que la Grande-Bretagne et l'Allemagne aient été des partenaires commerciaux majeurs en 1914 n'a pas empêché une conflagration qui retardé d'un demi-siècle l'intégration économique européenne.

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