Paul Lachine

¿El poder económico reemplazó al poder militar?

CAMBRIDGE – Cuando terminó la Guerra Fría, algunos analistas proclamaron que la “geo-economía” había reemplazado a la geopolítica. El poder económico se convertiría en la clave del éxito en la política mundial -un cambio que, para muchos, conduciría a un mundo dominado por Japón y Alemania.

Hoy, algunos interpretan el incremento de la participación de China en la producción mundial como un cambio fundamental en el equilibrio de poder global, pero sin considerar el poder militar. Sostienen que una potencia económica dominante pronto se convierte en una potencia militar dominante, olvidando que Estados Unidos fue la principal economía del mundo durante 70 años antes de convertirse en una superpotencia militar.

Los observadores políticos durante mucho tiempo debatieron qué es más fundamental, si el poder económico o el poder militar. La tradición marxista considera a la economía como la estructura subyacente del poder, y a las instituciones políticas como una simple superestructura –una presunción compartida por los liberales del siglo XIX que creían que la creciente interdependencia en el comercio y las finanzas tornarían obsoleta la guerra-. Pero, si bien en 1914 Gran Bretaña y Alemania eran, entre sí, los socios comerciales más importantes que tenían, eso no impidió una conflagración que retrasó la integración económica global durante medio siglo.

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