Asia Europe Journal

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 479–500 | Cite as

Norman Angell and the logic of economic interdependence revisited: 1914, 2014

  • Er-Win Tan
  • Seung Jin Kim
  • Gi-Seung Kim
Original Paper


There are regional fears that Beijing will use its growing clout to embark on an aggressive, expansionist policy in International Relations, hence the possibility of a collision course with the USA reminiscent of how Anglo-German tensions at the beginning of the twentieth century escalated into World War One. Closer scrutiny, however, suggests grounds for downplaying the likelihood of such a scenario. We outline this argument based on the following points: (i) there is a much higher level of economic interdependence between China and the USA today, compared to Britain and Germany, (ii) the corresponding levels of nationalism in China and the USA are lower than in Britain and Germany, (iii) the political alignments of international relations in the Asia Pacific in 2014 are less ambiguous than those in Europe in 1914, hence less potential for diplomatic miscalculation and (iv) the military and economic instruments of power that the USA and China possess, by being far more lethal than those held by Britain and Germany in 1914, would render any conflict between them an unacceptably costly catastrophe.


Trade Intensity Gross National Product Psychic Distance Economic Interdependence Defence Budget 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank the following scholars for their feedback, which greatly assisted in the successful publication of this manuscript: Richard Cooper, Department of Economics, Harvard University. John Lee, The Hudson Institute Balasz Szanto, Department of International and Strategic Studies, University of Malaya.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International and Strategic StudiesFaculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of East Asian StudiesFaculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsPusan National UniversityPusanRepublic of Korea

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