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Why did the League of Nations ultimately fail to achieve widespread disarmament, its most fundamental goal? This article shows that the failure of the League of Nations had two important dimensions: (1) the failure to provide adequate security guarantees for its members (like an alliance); (2) the failure of this organization to achieve the disarmament goals it set out in the 1920s and 1930s. Thus, it was doomed from the outset to fail, due to built-in institutional contradictions. It can also be modeled and analyzed as a potential military alliance. The results are fairly conclusive: The League of Nations did not function as a pure public-good alliance, which encouraged an arms race in the 1930s. KeywordsLeague of Nations–Disarmament–Military spending–Alliance–Arms race
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Jari Eloranta, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Comparative Economic and Business History, Appalachian State
University, Department of History, Whitener Hall, Boone, NC 28608, USA
Phone: +1-828-262 6006, email: elorantaj@appstate.edu
Paper to be presented at the Sixth European Historical Economics Society
Conference, 9-10 September 2005, Historical Center of the former Imperial Ottoman
Bank, Istanbul.
WHY DID THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS FAIL?
INTRODUCTION
The economic and political instability of the interwar period and the rise of authoritarian
regimes are often seen as extensions of World War I and the Great Depression. The
League of Nations, in turn, is usually seen as an organization that failed to act
adequately during the various political crises of the period, beginning with the Japanese
aggression in Manchuria. But, I would argue that its failure has to be seen in the larger
context of the failed disarmament processes of the interwar period.
Why did the League of Nations ultimately fail to achieve widespread disarmament, its
most fundamental goal? Maurice Vaïsse (1993) has summarized the explanations in the
following manner: 1) It failed because it was an imperfect instrument for achieving
disarmament; 2) It failed because the League was not universal; 3) It failed because of
the confrontation between Great Britain and France; 4) It failed because there were
domestic forces inside the countries hostile to disarmament; 5) It failed because the
Disarmament Conference was convened too late, under hostile conditions; 6) It failed
because of the confrontation between France and Germany at the Disarmament
Conference; 7) It failed because of the overly ambitious aims and the practical problems
involved in the reduction of armaments.1 And, as Frederick Northedge has argued, the
League failed because it was seen as the defender of the status quo, the infamous
Versailles settlement.2 As argued here, all of these explanations have merit, yet the list
1 Vaïsse 1993.
2 Northedge 1986, 288-289.
2
is hardly exhaustive. First, contrary to Vaïsse, I would maintain that the disarmament
that took place contemporaneously in the 1920s and the early years of the Great
Depression did not offer a real window of opportunity for disarmament.3 Second, the
role of the “weak” states was not as constructive as is often perceived, since they could
not offer a unified front on most issues. Nor were they all pacifistic in the vein of the
Scandinavian countries. Third, as argued in Eloranta (2002b), the domestic opposition
among economic interest groups to, for example, arms trade regulation was quite
formidable. Finally, the rigid negotiation stances of the key states in the disarmament
process prevented a more favorable outcome, since far-reaching compromises were
required from all participants. Thus, the states tended to pursue their own interests,
which were not the same for each state nor were the means that they were ready to use
to achieve their aims. The way that these interests emerged in the foreign policy of a
particular state was a combination of external (systemic, alliance-specific, dyadic) and
internal (economic, political, actor-specific) factors.4
I would argue that the failure of the League of Nations had two important dimensions:
1) The failure to provide adequate security guarantees for its members (like an alliance),
thus encouraging more aggressive policies especially by the authoritarian states and
leading to an arms race; 2) The failure of this organization to achieve the disarmament
goals it set out in the 1920s and 1930s, such as imposition of military spending
constraints. These dimensions, including the aggregate explanations of the weaknesses
of the League of Nations, have not been explored adequately by the extensive literature
on the interwar economic and political turmoil. I would argue that analysis of these
failures by the League of Nations can increase our understanding of the military
rivalries, regime changes, and, ultimately, the outbreak of World War II.
First, here I will analyze how and why the League of Nations failed to provide credible
security guarantees during the interwar period, and what this failure meant for the
military spending decision-making of the member nations. The foreign policy
3 Cf. Vaïsse 1993, 185-186.
4 On this type of argument, see Rosecrance and Stein 1993; Rosecrance and Steiner 1993, 124—125.
More specific tests of this argument, in relation with military spending demand and the relevant variables,
are presented in the subsequent sections.
3
environment under the superficially strong League of Nations in the 1920s did not
provide encouragement for meaningful spending cuts. Moreover, what did the League
of Nations Covenant actually propose in terms of security and how did the different
players adapt to this framework? I will also explore the multitude of efforts to achieve
credible disarmament measures5, from the early 1920s to the early 1930s. In fact, did
the League of Nations fail to provide the right institutional setting for the disarmament
bargaining or was it doomed to fail, due to inadequacies related to its structure and the
players involved?6 The evidence uncovered in this paper suggests that it was doomed to
fail, given the inability of the League to make credible security guarantees and the
widely differing goals of the members.
Second, I will explore whether the League of Nations actually could be modeled as a
credible (or indeed failed) military alliance, i.e. whether the military spending of the
sample members exhibited pure public good characteristics. Beginning with Mancur
Olson and Richard Zeckhauser’s path breaking work on NATO7, there have been many
testable hypotheses relating to the idea of collective security provision in an alliance and
the implications of this provision on military spending. As the logic suggested by Olson
and Zeckhauser implies, pure public good alliances are characterized by free riding by
the smaller (or poorer) states. For example, more recent studies have found the pure
public good alliance concept to describe the NATO until 1966, when a change in the
strategic doctrine forced the members to rely more on their own military provision.8
This paper thus explores whether free riding occurred, with both time series and cross
section samples based on Eloranta (2002b), in order to assess the public good qualities
of the League of Nations as an “alliance”.
It seems that League of Nations did not function as a credible alliance. Member states
by and large pursued their own military readiness solutions. Ultimately, thus, the
question is: If the League failed to provide pure public good in military deterrence, is
this the reason why this organization failed? The evidence in this paper suggests that
5 See e.g. Barros 1993.
6 For a more complete archival analysis of the negotiations and the players involved, as well as discussion
of the data and sources, see Eloranta 2002.
7 Olson and Zeckhauser 1966.
4
this was indeed the case. It failed in its most fundamental goal, namely to be able to
guarantee that peace would last.
COLLECTIVE SECURITY ASPIRATIONS AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS
The aim of this section is to undertake a review of the functions of the League of
Nations, especially in terms of aspirations towards disarmament and a general strive
towards improved collective security. Also, I will briefly review some of the key
measures aimed at promoting peace outside the League of Nations. First I will analyze
the structure and functions of the League of Nations in the sphere of collective security,
by necessity often at an elusive macro-level. Finally, I will conclude this section by
reflecting on the impacts of American isolationism for Europe, and the broad policy
stances of the United Kingdom and France in comparison.
The termination of the First World War on November 11, 1918 brought with it a quick
withdrawal of American forces from Europe and a significant initial change in the
political attitudes of the Great Powers. With the devastation brought on by the war, the
advancement of peace became a popular theme in international politics in the 1920s.9
The efforts to achieve peace rested on Wilson’s Fourteen Points, developed on the basis
of many similar ideological schemes that surfaced during the Great War, and the Treaty
of Versailles, which included the foundations of the League of Nations, to bring the
United States back into the policy of internationalism.10 These aspirations were dealt a
severe blow right from the beginning. For many reasons, the attempt to bring the United
States back into the international politics failed. The U.S. Senate refused to ratify the
treaty first in November 1919, and again in March 1920 as Woodrow Wilson stubbornly
refused to compromise.11 Thus, Wilson and the League of Nations were defeated
politically in the United States. Warren G. Harding's victory in the American
8 Sandler and Hartley 1999.
9 Preston and Wise 1970, 78-79; Pogue 1963.
10 Eloranta 2002b; Soule 1989, 81-82; Northedge 1986, 25-30.
11 Eloranta 2002b; Bemis 1959, 437-439.
5
presidential elections in 1920 led the United States into isolationism again, which
became the leading guideline in American foreign policy for two decades.12
The League of Nations came into existence on January 10, 1920. All in all eighteen
states became members of the League at first by formally approving the peace treaty.
By late 1920, the number of members had already grown to over forty. In 1938, by
comparison, the member count was fifty-five. The member states of the League of
Nations in 1920 comprised 74 per cent of the world’s population and, respectively, 63
per cent of the world states’ area.13 If one were to ask what the League of Nations was,
Zara Steiner’s depiction might be considered fairly accurate: “It was an institutionalized
form of collective action by the sovereign states to maintain the peace.”14 The League
also became the supreme defender of the Versailles settlement in the postwar world.
And, it represented no real effort to create a supranational authority, because its
decision-making structure granted the member states the final say in all matters.15
The League of Nations’ structure consisted of three essential bodies: 1) Assembly; 2)
Council; 3) Secretariat. The first two were the ones that had the power to act, whereas
the Secretariat formed the functional bureaucracy of the League. The Assembly was in
essence the League’s legislative arm, whereas the Council functioned as its cabinet. The
Assembly consisted of not more than three representatives of each member state, and
the Council had eight members (the ninth seat was reserved for the United States).16
The Assembly was meant to assuage the fears of the smaller states, since the number of
representatives was set to be equal among members. The Assembly also exercised
considerable control, when it wished to do so, over the Council — it, for example,
controlled the appointment of four out of eight Council members as well as determined
its size and basic character. The Council, in turn, was intended to give the smaller states
even further say in the matters of the League, because four of the eight represented the
12 Bemis 1959, 440-441.
13 The League of nations starts; an outline by its organisers 1920, 1-5; Northedge 1986.
14 Steiner 1993, 38.
15 Northedge 1986, e.g. 288-289; Steiner 1993, 41-43.
16 See more Northedge 1986.
6
smaller states (Belgium, Brazil, Greece, and Spain), yet they were only meant to be
temporary seats. Permanent seats were occupied by the former Allied Great Powers: the
United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Japan. By design, the Council was expected to be
(which turned out to be true) a passive organization, although most policy decisions
were up to the Council to initiate and act upon. Finally, the organization was run by a
Secretary-General, with the Secretariat at his disposal.17
The cornerstone of the League of Nations was its Covenant, consisting of 26 articles,
which remained mostly intact in the form adopted in 1919 throughout the interwar
period.18 Articles 1-7 set up the central machinery of the League. The basic premises of
the disarmament were outlined in Articles 8-9, and Articles 10-17 elaborated on the so-
called League system for the prevention of war, cited by the organizers as “the one
great object of the whole organization”. The rest of the Articles, “following the piece de
resistance”, dealt with a miscellaneous group of “important matters”.19 The Covenant’s
Article 8 consisted of the key elements of the future disarmament. It maintained that the
League Council was to assess each state’s security needs and to formulate a plan for the
disarmament of its members, based on this assessment. Equally, with this Article and
others the League was entrusted with the task of supervising the collection of
information on the development of armaments among its members.20 It maintained that
“the Members of the League recognise that the maintenance of peace requires the
reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety and
the enforcement by common action of international obligations.” Additionally, it put the
Council in charge of achieving this goal: “The Council, taking account of the
geographical situation and circumstances of each State, shall formulate plans for such
reduction for the consideration and action of the several Governments.”21 Moreover,
Article 9 provided for the establishment of a permanent commission, The Permanent
Advisory Commission for Military, Naval, and Air Questions, to study what criteria to
17 The League of nations starts; an outline by its organisers 1920, 5-18; Northedge 1986, 49-55.
18 Compare: The League of nations starts; an outline by its organisers 1920, Appendix I (containing the
1919 Covenant) and Northedge 1986, Appendix A (containing the 1938 amended Covenant). Many of the
amendments dealt with changes in the administrative structure of the League.
19 See the The League of nations starts; an outline by its organisers 1920, 26; Appendix I
20 Barros 1993, 606-607; Peterson 1993.
21 The The League of nations starts; an outline by its organisers 1920, Appendix I, Article 8.
7
set for the member states and to request relevant information pertaining to these matters.
This commission was also open to representatives of all states, including non-League
countries when the matters were of concern to them.22
The Articles relating to the resolution of conflicts, through voluntary or forced
arbitration, were both impressive in their detail yet vague in their enforcement. It
provided for conflict resolution both among the League members, as well as between a
League member and non-member. The general principle was, outlined in Article 11,
that “any war or threat of war, whether immediately affecting any of the Members of the
League or not, is hereby declared a matter of concern to the whole League, and the
League shall take any action that may be deemed wise and effectual to safeguard the
peace of nations.”23 The principles of arbitration were found in Articles 12, 13, and 15.
Article 16, the most important part of the Covenant in terms of collective security
guarantees, outlined the courses of action available to the League and its members in
case arbitration was not successful or it was rejected altogether:24
“Should any Member of the League resort to war in disregard of its covenants
under Articles 12, 13, of 15, it shall ipso facto be deemed to have committed an
act of war against all other Members of the League, which hereby undertake
immediately to subject it to the severance of all trade and financial relations, the
prohibition of all intercourse between their nationals and the nationals of the
covenant-breaking State, and the prevention of all financial, commercial, and
personal intercourse between the nationals of the covenant-breaking State and the
nationals of any other State, whether a Member of the League or not. It shall be
the duty of the Council in such case to recommend to the several Governments
concerned what effective military, naval, or air force the Members of the League
shall severally contribute to the armed forces to be used to protect the covenants
of the League.”
As was the case with the advancement of disarmament, the responsibility for
determining the necessity of sanctions, or indeed a harsher punishment, was placed on
the hands of the Council. Nonetheless, the Council’s task was merely to recommend
what contributions member states should make to the armed forces to protect the
22 Ibid., 137-138. See also the later Temporary Mixed Commission for the Reduction of Armaments, e.g.
its report in League of Nations, Assembly Documents, A. 35. 1923. IX (Part 1): August 30.
23 Ibid., Appendix I, Article 11.
24 Ibid., Appendix I, Article 16.
8
covenants of the League.25 The same standards were applied to both intra-League and
extra-League conflicts. Article 17 stated that “in the event of a dispute between a
Member of the League and a State which is not a Member of the League…If a State so
invited shall refuse to accept the obligations of membership in the League for the
purposes of such dispute, and shall resort to war against a Member of the League, the
provisions of Article 16 shall be applicable as against the State taking such action.”26
Finally, Article 23 trusted the League with the supervision of the trade in arms and
ammunition as well.27 Thus, the war-prevention strategy of the Covenant consisted of
four parts: 1) Reduction of the means to fight wars with; 2) Enforcement the principle of
sending unsettled disputes to third-party settlement and taking measures against states
which refused the arbitration or ignored its outcome; 3) Exchange of guarantees on the
status quo created by the Treaty of Versailles; 4) Resolution of international conflicts
before they become dangerous for world peace.28
It became apparent early on in the 1920s that individual states, regardless of their
commitment to the League framework, would not disarm unless they felt secure. This
for most states meant some type of a framework of collective security guarantees.
Within the League of Nations, the member states attempted to achieve disarmament
measures in earnest at least until the mid-1930s. The first plans right after the war were
merely aimed at containing the military spending levels or preferably reducing them.29
All of these efforts failed due to one reason or another (for example, due to different
conceptions of disarmament among the Great Powers). Mostly these efforts took place
between diplomats within the various committees in the League of Nations’ political
machinery. One of the many difficulties with achieving concrete results was the
heterogeneous nature of the participants and their different expectations. For example,
the Geneva Protocol of 1924 — which advocated principles such as denouncing of war,
agreement on sanctions against aggressor(s), and the convening of a disarmament
25 Northedge 1986, 56-57.
26 The League of nations starts; an outline by its organisers 1920, Appendix I, Article 17.
27 Ibid., Appendix I, Article 23.
28 Northedge 1986, 54. See also Steiner 1993.
29 See e.g. League of Nations, A. 13. 1921. IX: August 22. Reduction of National Expenditure on
Armaments. Including replies from 26 governments; League of Nations, C. 90. M. 40. 1921. IX: June 7.
Reduction of National Expenditure of Armaments. Including replies from 16 governments.
9
conference — failed ultimately due to British rejection of the Protocol. In 1925,
nonetheless, a Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference was
established, to prepare for a disarmament conference. Its work took five years and
culminated in the Disarmament Conference of 1932-1934.30 The Preparatory
Commission was not particularly successful in its endeavors, since there were, for
example, major disagreements between the British and the French over the scale of
disarmament and security guarantees, and between the British and the Americans over
naval disarmament. There were three important sources of disagreement still left
concerning the commission’s recommendations before the actual conference took place:
1) It made no provision for the inclusion of trained reserves; 2) It assigned no
limitations for the materials of armies and navies; 3) There were no restrictions placed
on the cost of material for the air forces.31
The Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments was convened on
February 2, 1932, when the League was already experiencing the difficulties of
furthering world peace due to Japanese aggression against China in Manchuria. Before
the opening, a draft resolution of the Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish, and Swiss
delegations was submitted requesting the Council to urge governments to abstain from
increases in their level of armaments. These countries had made a similar suggestion
already on September 11, 1931, leading to the acceptance of this principal by the
participants of the upcoming conference. This was a curious solution, one of the few
temporarily successful disarmament acts, known as the armaments truces, in fact very
similar to the early armaments containment efforts in the 1920s. Thus, an armaments
truce was maintained during the Disarmament Conference, which of course was the
peak of the Great Depression for many countries, making the acceptance of this measure
less challenging.32 Although the conference met on and off for nearly two and a half
years, it failed to produce tangible results. The differences of opinion between the
30 Barros 1993, 615-619; Northedge 1986, 56; 118-119.
31 Northedge 1986, 120-121. See also Scott 1973, e.g. 189. A good overall account of the disarmament
“process” can be found in Vaïsse 1993.
32 See e.g. League of Nations, A. 51. 1931. IX: September 11. Reduction of Armaments; League of
Nations, C. 774. M. 369. 1931. IX: October 29. Voluntary Armaments Truce (Czechoslovakia’s positive
reply); League of Nations, C. 627. M. 309. 1932. IX: September 5. Voluntary Armaments Truce. Replies
from 6 governments (concerning the extension of the armaments truce). See also Jones 1939, 244-246.
10
participants were simply too great, and the emergence of Hitler’s rule in Germany at
this time hardly helped matters. The failure of the League in Manchuria dealt the
League an “almost fatal blow”, surely also contributing to the failure of the
Disarmament Conference. On the spring of 1934, the Danish, Norwegian, Spanish,
Swedish, and Swiss delegations made a final plea to overcome the impasse of the
conference, but to no avail. Hopes of collective disarmament died in a definitive fashion
with the departure of Germany from the League. Fifteen years of effort had been
wasted. When the Disarmament Conference met for the last time on June 11, 1934, the
disarmament “process” was effectively dead on its tracks.33
One of the few successful disarmament undertakings by the League of Nations was the
collection of data on military spending and arms trade. The first report, titled Budget
Expenditure on National Defence: 1913 and 1920—1922, was published in 1922, and it
included military spending data for twenty-one countries in the post-war period. The
introduction to the report made specific stipulations on the limitations of the enquiry,
yet the data for each country also included real value comparisons with the prewar
period. The aim was “to furnish material indicating the development and tendency in
each individual country”.34 The next report was issued already in 1923, titled Statistical
Enquiry into National Peace-time Armaments. This time the report included two
volumes, nearly two hundred pages in total. Also, the report gave detailed data on the
military spending, including the colonies, and the armed forces of seventeen nations in
all.35 One of the most detailed statistical sources on peacetime armies and military
spending of the world was created on the same principles in 1924, as the Armaments
Year-Book came into existence.36 This yearbook continued to provide fairly reliable data
on the military establishments of most countries, excluding Germany in the late 1930s,
as I have already discussed in Eloranta (2002b).
33 Ibid., 249-251; Northedge 1986, 122-134; Vaïsse 1993.
34 League of Nations, A. 38(a). 1922. IX. Budget Expenditure on National Defence: 1913 and 1920—
1922, 1—5. See also League of Nations, Armaments Year-Books (1924—1940). 1st Edition. A. 37. 1924.
X; (1940 Edition) C. 228. M. 155. 1939. IX.
35 League of Nations, A. 20. 1923. IX, Statistical Enquiry into National Peace-time Armaments, Parts 1
and 2.
36 See Eloranta 2002b, Appendices, Appendix 2.
11
In the period following the First World War, there were a multitude of efforts aimed at
controlling and limiting the trade of armaments with the League of Nations. Among
others, the Versailles Peace Treaty established controls for the arms trade of the losers
of the war, and there were negotiations on embargoes and production limitations both at
the national and the supranational level, mainly under the auspices of the League of
Nations. Similarities with the overall disarmament process are abundant. For example,
the St. Germain Convention for the Control of the Trade in Arms and Ammunition of
1919, which attempted to establish a government licensing system for certain weapons,
was to be supervised by a specific League of Nations’ Central International Office. The
downfall of this agreement was mainly the opposition of the United States to the close
connection with the League of Nations. A broader agreement following the Conference
for the Supervision of the International Arms Trade in 1925 ran into similar problems
when it came to the ratification phase of the convention. The participating states
attached conditions to the ratification process, which effectively destroyed its chances of
success. The United States’ Senate did not ratify the convention until 1934. The main
results that emerged from the 1920s armaments trade limitation negotiations were the
establishment of a licensing system among the nations, which also served as a basis for
the gathering of statistical information on this type of trade in the League publications.
One of the basic aims in the control efforts of the 1920s and 1930s was to ban private
manufacture and sale of armaments, although these initiatives never really produced
concrete results, with especially the ratification phase usually providing the final blow
to any regulative endeavor.37
What was the significance of extra-League peace initiatives, with usually a larger
participation base and more precise focus in the negotiations? The first significant peace
conference, used here as an example, took place in the aftermath of the First World War
and the failure of the American involvement in the League of Nations. The Washington
Conference on Naval Limitation became a reality in November 1921, with participation
by the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Por-
tugal, and China. The question of Far East, mainly China, was one of the important
37 Krause and MacDonald 1993, 713-717. See also Krause 1992.
12
issues at the conference. Since the Americans were not ready to fight for China, the
treaties provided an excuse not to carry the burden of the protection of the Far East.38
The most important of the treaties accomplished in the Washington Conference was the
Washington Treaty for Limitation of Naval Armaments in 1922. In this treaty the
United States, Great Britain, and Japan (in addition to France and Italy) agreed upon
maintenance of a battleship and carrier ratio of 5-5-3 for the "big" naval powers (and 1.7
respectively for the others).39 With the Four Power Treaty (1921), the United States,
Japan, Great Britain, and France agreed upon displaying mutual respect for their
interests and possessions in the Pacific region. The third treaty, the Nine Power Treaty
(1922), was designed especially to solve the problem of China's "defense", which in
practice meant the continuance of Western domination. In this treaty the nine naval
powers agreed, at least in principle, to respect China's sovereignty, independence, and
other matters.40 Even though these reforms surely had honorable aims and were
recognized to be outstanding achievements in their time, the outcomes proved to be
disappointing in many ways. The limitations were not always obeyed.41 The treaties
accomplished in the Washington Conference also lacked the machinery required to
enforce the established agreements. For example, the Nine Power Treaty on China was
mainly rhetorical by nature and did not offer anything concrete for its enforcement.42
Yet, when did the League’s impotence in the task of maintaining the world peace
become apparent to all of its members? In fact, it was the weaknesses that were
contained in the League framework and the foreign policy stances of the members that
made it impossible for the system to work. The real test of the covenants first came with
the surprising Japanese aggression in Manchuria. This turned out to be quite a shock for
the League members, since Japan, a permanent member of the Council, had been
conciliatory in its foreign policy in the 1920s, even during the naval disarmament
conference of 1930. The long slide into war in Manchuria began on September 18,
1931, when local Japanese army attacked the city of Mukden without the knowledge
38 Bemis 1959, 457-460; Eloranta 2002b.
39 Eloranta 2002b; Bemis 1959, Peterson 1993.
40 Eloranta 2002b; Northedge 1986.
41 Hicks 1960, 39, 41-43, 49; Eloranta 2002b.
13
and the wishes of the government in Tokyo. The government was forced to follow the
military’s lead in the matter, and the incident developed into an international conflict as
the Japanese made considerable headway against the inferior Chinese forces. This
prompted extensive debate in the Council, yet it was not willing to put heavy pressure
against Japan. Further Japanese military action in Shanghai on January 28, 1932, finally
triggered a more unitary collective response, which, despite being quite cautious, got
Japanese troops out of Shanghai. When a special report condemning Japan was
approved on February 24, 1933, the Japanese delegation walked out of the Assembly.
Japan announced her formal withdrawal from the League on March 27, 1933.43
The “Manchurian Incident”, as it was called, was just the first of many deadly blows to
come at the League of Nations. The Soviet Union’s joining of the League in 1934 at
first provided a signal of hope for peace. Hitler’s ascendancy to power in 1933 and his
revisionist ideas soon came to fore in European politics. Germany’s withdrawal from
the League (admitted to the League in 1926) and its fevered rearmament from 1935
onwards certainly cast doubts on the League’s and Europe’s future. Equally, the process
of “peaceful” conquests started by the remilitarization of Rhineland in March 1936,
leading up to the Second World, were certainly among the death blows to the League’s
credibility.44
Yet, inability of the League to halt Italian (another member of the League’s Council)
aggression in Abyssinia in 1935-1936 turned out to be its most decisive fiasco.
Mussolini, in essence, was able to achieve his illicit conquest despite the protestations
of the other European and world powers. Especially the British, who initially were the
prominent force behind them, were against the continuation of the sanctions put in place
under Article 16 initially, and thus even the sanctions were removed in July 1936. This
merely acknowledged the prevailing situation: the Great Powers were not ready to
initiate aggression against Italy due to this conflict, and that Mussolini’s victory in
Abyssinia had already been sealed months before. To many revisionists, especially
42 Hicks 1960, 46-47.
43 See e.g. Scott 1973, 208-229; Northedge 1986.
44 See, for example, Murray 1984; Kennedy 1989; Northedge 1986.
14
Hitler, this meant that the League was truly unable to stand in the way of the redrawing
of the map of Europe and the destruction of the status quo created at Versailles.45
Moreover, the American isolationism, however inadequate as the term may be, left the
European and even the ”world” power relations in the hands of Great Britain and
France. They were reluctant leaders in their own right, with their own interests
displayed in their actions for example in the League of Nations functions. Germany and
Russia had been defeated in the First World War, thus leaving room for these traditional
Great Powers to re-emerge in European politics. There were obvious disagreements in
the goals valued by the British and the French. The British, like the Americans, were
less and less interested in the goal that France valued the most: keeping Germany in
check. Additionally, Great Britain was more pre-occupied by extra-European problems,
namely keeping the vast Empire from disintegrating. At the beginning of the 1930s
France seemed to be the leading nation in the European scene. Its economic
performance in the 1930s, however, proved to be poor in comparison with the other
European Great Powers.46 Thus, the European stage created a sort of a ”power vacuum”
during the 1930s, which seemed to invite hegemonic competition for leadership.
BUT WAS IT EFFECTIVE? MILITARY SPENDING AND NAVAL BUILDUP
IN THE INTERWAR PERIOD
After the First World War, especially in the 1920s, although the defense shares (=ratio
of military spending to central or federal government expenditures, %) of large
democracies dropped noticeably, their respective military burdens (=ratio of military
spending to GDP, %) stayed either at similar levels as before or actually increased. As
has been noted in Eloranta (2002), the mean military burden of 17 countries47 did not
change much from the period 1870—1913 to the interwar period (1920-1938); in fact,
only a slight increase occurred. However, the mean defense share of the pre-First World
45 See especially Northedge 1986, Chapter 10.
46 Kennedy 1989, 357-375; Pearton 1982, 177, 197-198.
47 Includes: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands,
Norway, Portugal, Russia/USSR, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA.
15
War period was nearly double that of the interwar period, with the latter amounting to
eighteen per cent.
Thus, the mean military burdens proved quite resistant to change (or path dependent),
whereas the military expenditures’ (abbreviated: ME) budget shares shrunk noticeably
as new spending programs were introduced in the spheres of social issues and
education. For example France’s military burden average increased respectively in the
interwar period compared to the earlier period, and its mean defense share declined only
slightly. Other countries that behaved similarly included Belgium, Portugal (with also
its mean defense share increasing after the First World War), Spain, and the UK.
Figure 1. Military Burdens (=Ratio of Military Expenditures to GDP, %) of
Germany, Italy, Japan, and Russia/USSR, 1920-1938
0
5
10
15
20
25
1920 1922 1924 1926 1928 1930 1932 1934 1936 1938
Year
%
GER, MILBUR ITA, MILBUR
JAP, MILBUR RUS, MILBUR
Sources: see Eloranta (2002b) for details.
The military burdens of the authoritarian and totalitarian challengers of France and the
United Kingdom grew strongly from 1933-1934 onwards, and the overall levels of these
countries during the authoritarian rule were in general higher than those of most
democratic states. One should also take note that the more authoritarian the nation was
16
the higher its military burden seemed to be. For example, Mussolini’s Italy, with
Mussolini unable to subjugate and consolidate all societal groups under his direct rule,
seems to have been unable to match the militaristic drive of Japan (under a military
regime) and Germany (under Hitler’s centralized regime), perhaps also the Soviet
Union, in the late 1930s. For the European democracies, the mid-1930s in general
marked the beginning of rather slow rearmament, although their authoritarian
challengers had begun earlier. Hitler’s Germany increased its military burden from 1.6
per cent in 1933 to 18.9 in 1938, a rearmament program promising both “guns and
butter”. Mussolini’s efforts in Italy were less successful, producing a military burden of
four to five per cent in the 1930s. The Japanese rearmament drive was perhaps the most
extensive, relative of its economic base, amassing a military burden as high as 22.7 per
cent in 1938.48
Thus, the League of Nations certainly was not able to contain the arms race of the
1930s, and had only a limited impact even on the 1920s’ development. What about the
navies? After all, this was one of the areas in which the League was its most active.
These questions require some estimations of the available military stock by the states to
be compared. One measure, advocated by George Modelski and William R. Thompson
(1988)49, is the number of battleships, perceived by these authors to reflect the ability of
a state to assume a leadership position within a system. As seen above in Figure 2, the
number of battleships reflects rather well the earlier discussion of naval limitation
agreements by the Great Powers. By 1931, the United Kingdom and the United States
seem to have achieved a balance with the other states also maintaining steady numbers
of battleships. Was the rearmament of the 1930s an illusion, especially in the sphere of
naval armaments?
48 Eloranta 2003 and the sources in it. See also Eloranta 2002b.
49 Modelski and Thompson also use somewhat scattered estimates of the Great Power naval spending to
calculate world leadership shares as well as other variables. Their study is, in particular, to be commended
due to its detailed explanations on the sources used and the weaknesses of the estimates. See Modelski
and Thompson 1988, e.g. 38-48. Here I have chosen to define a battleship as a military capital ship other
than an aircraft carrier with a tonnage of at least 15 000 tons. On concepts and theoretical challenges, see
especially Modelski and Thompson 1996.
17
Figure 2. Number of Battleships by France, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the
United States, 1920-1938
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
1920 1922 1924 1926 1928 1930 1932 1934 1936 1938
Year
NUMBER
FRA, BATTLESHIPS JAP, BATTLESHIPS
UK, BATTLESHIPS USA, BATTLESHIPS
Sources: see Eloranta (2002b) for details.
It is argued here that this picture may be quite misleading as a representation of the
naval competition, or the lack of it, in the 1930s. I have constructed figures on the
depreciated total tonnages of the seventeen states, using the guidelines of the League of
Nations on the depreciation lengths of different kinds of ships. As this procedure is
extremely labor-intensive, the depreciated tonnages were constructed only for the years
1923, 1928, 1933, and 1938. The totals were then interpolated using the indices
explained in Eloranta (2002). These figures should provide a better estimation of the
“true” naval stock of these nations, especially in terms of naval competition, because: 1)
Battleships represent perhaps merely the offensive capabilities of states, or the ability to
maintain “leadership”; and 2) Outdated materials were indeed deemed to be useless in
battle, as displayed by the British estimations that during the First World War an older
standard German battleship would last no more than five minutes against a modern,
18
British Dreadnought.50 Let us first examine the comparative depreciated naval tonnages
of some of the Great Powers in this period (see Figure 3 below).
Figure 3. Total Depreciated Tonnages of France, Germany, the United Kingdom,
and the United States, 1920-1938
0.0000
0.0002
0.0004
0.0006
0.0008
0.0010
0.0012
1920 1922 1924 1926 1928 1930 1932 1934 1936 1938
Year
TONNAGES,
IN BILLIONS
FRA, TOTAL DEPRECIATED TONNAGE
GER, TOTAL DEPRECIATED TONNAGE
UK, TOTAL DEPRECIATED TONNAGE
USA
,
TOTAL DEPRECIATED TONNAGE
Sources: see Eloranta (2002b) for details.
The view provided by the number of battleships seems to, in fact, have been quite
accurate for the 1920s. The naval limitation agreements indeed decreased the usable
tonnages of the United Kingdom and the United States, while the tonnage held by
France in effect increased, producing an actual parity between the three. This had not
been the aim of the naval limitation accords discussed earlier. Nonetheless, quite
divergent trends emerged after 1933. While the British rearmament programs, often in
connection with depression-related employment efforts, produced a strong increase in
the 1930s (with the U.S. effort somewhat more meager), the French actual naval stock
declined, both due to lack of funding and the aging of the ships. The German fleet,
practically nonexistent before the 1930s, was built up quite fast, at least to provide a
50 Modelski and Thompson 1988, 76.
19
significant threat to the French, yet the naval lead of the United Kingdom and the
United States remained clear.
Figure 4 includes three possible indicators of naval threats among seventeen states. The
first is a combined volume index constructed from the figures provided by Modelski
and Thompson (1988) as well as other sources found in Eloranta (2002b), the second is
the total nominal tonnage of the seventeen states, and the third is the total depreciated
tonnage of the said states. This third index seems to indicate most clearly a decline in
the 1920s, and an emerging growth trend in the 1930s. The combined volume index of
“threat” ignores some of the disarmament tendencies of the 1920s, and the nominal
tonnage indicates, for example, a more abrupt growth trend from the mid-1930s
onwards. I would argue that the total depreciated tonnage confers a more accurate
picture of this phenomenon. All in all, disarmament did seem to occur in a limited sense
in the 1920s, yet the 1930s devolved into an arms race once again.
Figure 4. Index of Naval Threat (1928=100), 17-country Total Nominal Tonnage,
and 17-country Total Depreciated Tonnage, 1920-1938
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
1920 1922 1924 1926 1928 1930 1932 1934 1936 1938
Year
NAVAL THREAT
INDEX
0.000
0.001
0.002
0.003
0.004
0.005
0.006
0.007
TONNAGES, IN
BILLIONS
COMBINED INDEX (NAVAL SPENDING + BSHIPS) (1928=100)
17-COUNTRY, TOTAL TONNAGE
17-COUNTRY, TOTAL DEPRECIATED TONNAGE
Sources: see Eloranta (2002b) for details.
20
MILITARY SPENDING AS A PURE PUBLIC GOOD: THE LEAGUE OF
NATIONS AS AN ALLIANCE?
Here in this section I will assess the importance of pure public good characteristics for
the military spending behavior of a selected sample, due to data concerns, of eleven
European states: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway,
Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. I will explore the idea
that the League of Nations might have failed to produce a public good in the form of
collective security, and what this failure entailed for the military spending behavior of
these nations. The military spending framework under the superficially strong League of
Nations in the 1920s did not provide encouragement for meaningful spending cuts,
which fits well within the proposed arms race model introduced in this section.
Furthermore, the reasons behind the disarmament, the most important function of this
organization, failure of the League are explored in this section, and especially the role of
the “weak” states is re-evaluated.
As the earlier discussion implied, the League of Nations can be argued to have formed
an alliance of sorts, even in the military sense. An attempt was certainly made to
provide a framework for collective security in the League Covenant, which consisted of
various measures meant to force states into arbitration over disputes. Furthermore, for
example Article 16 provided measures, such as the assembly of a collective military
force, for the enforcement of these principles. Bruce Russett has qualified the League of
Nations as a “quasi-global collective security arrangement…which bind[s] all members
to coalesce against any aggressor, even one of their own number”.51 Despite the fact that
the structure of the League and the different views of its members on these
commitments rendered these ideals quite unreachable52, the League certainly on paper
filled the requirements of a military alliance. And, as such, it can be investigated as
providing a possible pure public good deterrence to its members.53 The maintenance of
collective security, i.e. at least some form of lasting peace, was indeed “the one great
51 Russett 1971, 263.
52 See especially Stromberg 1956.
53 Other organizations can of course be studied in a similar fashion, as providing a pure public good in a
fashion other than militarily. See Olson and Zeckhauser 1966; Sandler and Hartley 1999.
21
object of the whole organization”, to be pursued through institutionalized collective
action.54
The military spending choices of the League members can be described with a rather
simple Prisoner’s Dilemma arms race framework. Thus, the two participating nations in
an international system or sub-system have two strategies: either to limit or escalate
one’s military spending. The hypothetical payoffs presented arise from four strategy
combinations: 1) Both countries limit their ME; 2) Nation 1 limits while nation 2
escalates; 3) Nation 2 limits while nation 1 escalates; 4) Both countries escalate their
military spending. The outcome shows that each nation is best off when it escalates and
the other limits its military spending. The worst outcome for any nation, for example
within the League of Nations, would be to limit military spending while another,
especially a rival, escalates.55 However, given the absence of trust or some type of
guarantee, the escalate-escalate strategy would prevail, producing the worst outcome in
terms of the maintenance of peace between the two nations.
In the 1920s, the League of Nations framework provided only a semblance of collective
security, amply revealed in the 1930s. Although in general the 17-country (real)
aggregate military spending remained quite stable after its sharp reduction in 1920—
1922 until 1933, systemic stability was undermined by the decreasing spending shares
of democracies. Also, whereas the eleven European states analyzed here maintained
their military spending shares, on the average, throughout the 1920s and 1930s, their
authoritarian challengers increased their relative spending strongly in the 1930s, thus
tipping the balance between the democracies and autocracies after 1933. Moreover, not
all states were willing to disarm in the 1920s, given the League’s vague collective
security enforcement guarantees. Only the naval disarmament seemed to produce more
concrete results, although even this process produced results that were not entirely
beneficial for the power balance.56 Thus, the “disarmament equilibrium” achieved in the
1920s was a tenuous one. The dominant strategy of the League members, which
emerged in the 1930s, was to escalate military spending again within the constraints
54 The League of nations starts; an outline by its organisers 1920, 26; Steiner 1993, 38.
55 Sandler and Hartley 1995, 74-76, which also presents the ordinal version of this game.
22
placed upon them by their respective political economies. The absence of successful
repeated interactions that would foster trust between the key states (such as in achieving
comprehensive disarmament measures) and the impotence of the central arbiters, the
League and the United States,57 were among key reasons for the escalation of military
spending in the 1930s.
The failure of the League to include all the important world powers was of course in
itself of paramount importance for its effectiveness. The isolationism of the United
States; the distrust of the Soviet Union towards the League; Germany’s at first
externally imposed exclusion in the 1920s and then its own decision to abandon the
League in the mid-1930s; and Japan’s exit from the League on the heels of the
Manchurian Incident were all huge blows to the collective peace aspirations. After all, a
key idea in the League structure was, contrary to the wishes of France and Eastern
European states, that the enforcement of peace should be left to the hands of the
members themselves. Especially the British were in favor of this interpretation of the
League commitments. A comment attached to the presentation of the original League
Covenant to the Parliament in June 1919 is quite illustrative: “It is true that, in default of
a strong international striking force, ready for instant action in all parts of the world, the
Members of the League must make their own arrangements for immediate self-defence
against any force that could be suddenly concentrated against them, relying on such
understandings as they have come to with their neighbours previously for this
purpose.”58
The French, however, firmly believed that an international military force, preferably on
permanent basis, or at least extensive military cooperation would be necessary in order
for the League to function properly. The British and the Americans obviously did not
want to make such binding arrangements. The British wanted to minimize their
involvement in continental matters, especially in military affairs59. France was perhaps
56 See Eloranta 2002b.
57 On the comparison between the pre-war arbitration movement and the more extensive League of
Nations, see Egerton 1974.
58 The League of nations starts; an outline by its organisers 1920, 234-235.
59 This was hardly a unanimous view held by British officials, especially those serving in the League of
Nations. See Towle 1993.
23
the most ardent advocate of collective security guarantees among the Great Powers, yet
it mainly viewed the League as a system of force directed against real or imagined
German aggression. Their views on disarmament differed drastically as well, since for
example the British were not willing to commit to extensive collective security
arrangements, and the French were not willing, in the absence of such commitments, to
disarm. Both were at best sceptical of the chances of the League to provide real security
solutions.60 While the accession of Germany to the League seemingly fostered the
“spirit of Locarno”, in fact very little changed in terms of the League’s credibility in the
1920s. Good diplomatic relations between the European “Big Three” (France, the
United Kingdom, and Germany) did facilitate the everyday functions of the League, yet
these superficial improvements were undermined by the representatives of their
respective governments in their nationalistic domestic appearances. The “Big Three”
only really turned to the League as an instrument of last resort. According to George
Scott (1973), “Britain’s influence was often the most decisive in keeping the League out
of things.”61
The role of the “weak” states, carrying the connotation of limited political and/or
economic importance, was not quite as unimportant as their economic position in the
international system would suggest.62 This was guaranteed by the very structure of the
League organs. Both the Assembly and the Council ensured the Small and Medium
Powers63 practically equal say in the matters of the League. Moreover, as Ronald
Stromberg has pointed out, the “small” states were not necessarily any more virtuous
than the Great Powers in international politics.64 They also pursued their own interests
and agendas within the League. There were also many types of “weak” states, even
within Europe, representing a heterogeneous array of views. For example, the
Scandinavian states — consisting of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden — felt that
because of their geographic and political positions they were not willing to even
entertain sanctions as a coercive tool, let alone military force. They attached, on the
60 Northedge 1986, 44; Stromberg 1956, 252-253; Egerton 1974; Steiner 1993, 37.
61 Scott 1973, 161-166. See also Towle 1993.
62 See Eloranta 2002a for further discussion.
63 See e.g. Ray and Singer 1973 and in general Singer 1981 for discussion on how to construct indices,
based on diplomatic representation, to measure power status. See also the discussion in Eloranta 2002b.
64 Stromberg 1956, 263, footnote 14.
24
basis of their small populations and military weakness, very little value to armaments as
the basis for security, and they were ready to implement general disarmament, even
unilaterally, without further guarantees. The position adopted by these states maintained
that general disarmament itself would constitute an important guarantee for international
security.65
There were also other constellations among the “weak” states that served as the basis for
their activities in the League of Nations and beyond. For example, the so-called Oslo
states — a group which came into existence in 1930 and lasted until 1940 —consisted
of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Finland.
The principal aim of this group was to promote economic and political cooperation,
mainly under the auspices of the League of Nations. In reality, most of the cooperation
took place directly between the Oslo states. However, since the core of this group
consisted of the three neutral Scandinavian states, there were many disagreements over
policies between them. For example, whereas Belgium and the Netherlands were in
favor of extending political cooperation to the so-called Group of Eight — which in
addition to the Oslo states (not counting Luxembourg) comprised Czechoslovakia,
Spain, and Switzerland — the Scandinavian states were in favor of forming an entity
based around the former neutral states. Similar difficulties plagued the actions of the
Group of Eight, which was mainly aimed at promoting the disarmament process within
the League. Differences between the positions adopted by these states, for example in
disarmament, were often irreconcilable. For example, Finland and Czechoslovakia were
strongly in favor of security guarantees, whereas the Scandinavian states were willing to
undertake unconditional, unilateral disarmament. The Scandinavian policy of non-
involvement actually extended to denying automatic assistance to the victims of
aggression, thus going against the proposal made by Finland in the League.66
The ambiguous foreign policy of the southernmost member of the Group of Eight,
Spain, was not particularly helpful for the cause of disarmament either. Primo de
Rivera’s authoritarian regime, lacking fascist-style state control, maintained an
65 Jones 1939, 217-225; van Roon 1989. See also Salmon 1997.
66 van Roon 1989, e.g. 128, Chapter IX; Jones 1939, 238; Salmon 1997.
25
ambiguous dualism in its foreign policy, alternating between a revisionist stance and a
traditional policy of accepting the status quo. Rivera considered success abroad to be
vital for the survival of his regime. It maintained a lukewarm diplomatic courtship with
Italy as an ongoing process while attempting to make headway in Northern Africa,
mainly at the expense of the French. Despite some modest successes due mainly to luck,
its biggest challenge was to obtain greater recognition from the League. Since the
beginning, Spain’s seat in the Council had been a nonpermanent one, which was a
source of irritation for the regime. As Germany acceded to the League in 1926 and
obtained a permanent seat, Rivera began a campaign to get Spain a permanent seat as
well, which after numerous twists and turns resulted in Spain’s withdrawal from the
League for two years in the late 1920s. When Spain rejoined, it did so under the same
conditions as before, having achieved practically nothing except a political
embarrassment and ending up undermining the League.67
During the Second Republic, the foreign policy reversal of the regime was quite
extensive. The Republican government relied on international cooperation and the
promotion of pacifistic ideas. It was actually Spain’s initiative that led to the
establishment of the Group of Eight. Spain demanded the greatest possible disarmament
compatible with a guarantee of internal public order and the fulfillment of international
obligations. Yet, although Ismael Saz claims otherwise, this group was far from uniform
and imposed its own difficulties to the disarmament process. Thus, it was a combination
of competing visions among the Great Powers and the other states that ultimately made
the disarmament compromise impossible.68 Neutrality was not really a choice that Spain
embraced willingly rather than a continuous descent towards “a hesitant and frequently
shameful neutrality”, as the cooperation with the other “weak” states failed to produce
results.69
If we think of the disarmament as a game, the near impossibility of the disarmament
becomes apparent. When the participants in the game had, broadly speaking, either the
67 Saz 1999a, 53-64. See also Lee 1987, 227-231.
68 Cf. Saz 1999b, 77-99. On competing visions of the reasons behind the disarmament process, see Vaïsse
1993.
69 Saz 1999b, 83-91. In addition, see Linz and Stepaan 1978.
26
goal of obtaining comprehensive collective security guarantees (like France) or, at the
other end of the spectrum, were willing to accept disarmament without any agreement at
all, the disarmament process certainly faced an uphill battle in order to be a success. At
the level of individual countries’ foreign policy, the aims and motivations of the
participants differed even more drastically. Furthermore, when repeated negotiations
failed to produce results and centralized military leadership — either by the League of
Nations or the leader nations — was not forthcoming, an arms race ensued in the 1930s.
Even the disarmament process of the 1920s was most likely a phenomenon that had
more to do with individual state public finances and other domestic factors. The
response by the autocracies, encouraged by their populist leaders, was to achieve
revisionist aims (like Germany) or simply take advantage of the existing power vacuum.
The response of the democracies was a more protracted one; i.e., they retained the
strategy of non-escalation until the mid- or late 1930s, which of course meant that the
strategic payoff for the autocracies from the rapid arms buildup was even greater.
It also is possible to test the notion whether the League actually produced a pure public
good deterrence. First, however, the representativeness of the sample must be discussed.
The eleven European states, based on Eloranta (2002b), can hardly be said to represent
the whole of the League of Nations, yet they could be argued to represent the European
dimension of the organization quite well. Finland, Spain, and Portugal represented the
periphery of Europe, the Scandinavian countries formed their own, fairly distinctive
group, whereas the others could be viewed as belonging to the European core in terms
of geography and level of economic development. Such countries as Germany and
Japan, for example, did not belong to the organization during the whole period. In this
fashion, Spain perhaps is the least fitting of the group. Nonetheless, Spain’s position in
the League or its military spending were hardly affected by its short absence. Moreover,
France and the United Kingdom were most certainly the leading states in the League, so
perhaps the representativeness of the sample of eleven is better than one might at first
expect. Certainly this sample should reveal the effectiveness or inadequacy of the
League of Nations as a provider of collective security.
27
Furthermore, it is possible to perform relatively simple tests to see whether military
spending was a pure public good among the selected sample states. If it actually was,
then the League of Nations obviously was more important for these nations than the
previous discussion indicates. Beginning with Mancur Olson and Richard Zeckhauser’s
path breaking work on NATO, there have been many testable hypotheses relating to the
idea of collective security provision in an organization and the implications of this
provision on military spending.70 Given the free riding tendency in a pure public good
alliance, military burdens are anticipated to be shared unevenly in an alliance; thus,
large wealthy allies (measured by real GDP) should shoulder more of the common
defense than the smaller, poorer allies (=hypothesis 1). The logic outlined by Olson and
Zeckhauser maintained that a nation with a large area, long frontiers, and a higher
population density, in addition to a higher share of vulnerable resources and ideological
tendencies, would lead to a more aggressive military spending policy.71
Of course, as I would argue, the explanation resting on the foundation of the public
good theory and the suboptimality of defense provision via the spillover effect has
sound theoretical foundations.72 Indeed, Olson and Zeckhauser found a significant
positive correlation, using Spearman rank correlation tests73, between the NATO allies’
GNP and their military burdens in 1964, indicating clear free-riding behavior by the
smaller allies.74 Later studies specified the pure public good alliance to describe the
NATO until 1966, when the positive rank correlation between the variables ceased to be
statistically significant.75 Here I will perform the Spearman rank correlation tests
between the military burdens and the real GDP levels76 among the selected eleven
European states for three cross-section years (1925, 1930, and 1935).
70 See Olson and Zeckhauser 1966 as well as Sandler and Hartley 1999 on NATO.
71 Olson and Zeckhauser 1966, e.g. 371.
72 See Eloranta 2002.
73 Spearman R assumes that the variables under consideration were measured on at least an ordinal (rank
order) scale, that is, that the individual observations can be ranked into two ordered series. It is a
nonparametric test, which is well suited for the analysis of small samples in particular. The null
hypothesis is a zero coefficient.
74 See Olson and Zeckhauser 1966.
75 Sandler and Hartley 1999, 44 and the studies listed therein. Some years in the 1980s did produce a
similar pure public good impact as the yearly years of the NATO.
76 Utilizing the modified GDP data used in most statistical exercises in Eloranta 2002b.
28
Respectively, defense spending should be allocated inefficiently from an alliance
standpoint, as the sum of marginal benefits from defense provision should not equal the
marginal costs of this provision (=hypothesis 2). This follows from the argument that
the military burdens in an alliance yielding joint products should be shared based on the
benefits received — the greater the ratio of excludable benefits to total benefits, the
larger should be the agreement between the benefits received and burdens shared
(=hypothesis 3). For example Todd Sandler and Keith Hartley (1999) used the mean of
three benefit shares (an ally’s share of NATO population, share of NATO’s GDP, and
share of NATO’s exposed borders) to measure the sum of benefits, whereas the cost
variable was the military burden. Using the Wilcoxon test77 that indicates whether the
two measures are statistically the same, they found matching cost-benefit shares for
most of the post-1966 period, indicating the presence of joint products (i.e., impure
public good benefits).78 Here I will first perform the Spearman rank correlation tests
between the real ME share and the ECONCINC (=arithmetic average of various
economic indicators in a 17-country system), as explained in Eloranta (2002b), for the
same three cross-section years as indicated above. Furthermore, I will perform the
Wilcoxon tests to see whether the cross-section variables were statistically the same.
Thus, if the results indicate the presence of joint products, we may deduce that a central
authority in an alliance (here: the League of Nations or at least its European core) is
required to coordinate spending to overcome the suboptimal provision and ensure the
functionality of the cooperation (=hypothesis 4). As we have seen, no such leadership
was forthcoming either from the League itself or outside this organization. Relating to
the arguments presented in the previous sections as well as the exploitation hypothesis, I
will investigate whether the level of economic development, measured by real GDP per
capita, might be an important explanatory variable in the burden sharing. Thus, we may
hypothesize that the more developed the nation is economically, with more established
institutions and political markets, the lower the military spending (=hypothesis 5).
Spearman rank correlation tests between the adjusted GDP per capita and the military
77 This procedure assumes that the variables under consideration were measured on a scale that allows the
rank ordering of observations based on each and that allows rank ordering of the differences between
variables; i.e., it is a nonparametric test like the Spearman rank correlation test. The null hypothesis is that
the two samples have the same median.
29
burdens of the eleven should reveal a positive relationship if this assumption holds at
the level of development. As a confirmation, I will utilize the Wilcoxon test again.
Moreover, I will also test this notion for the extended sample of twenty-four utilized in
Eloranta (2002b), to see whether the behavior of these democracies was unique.
Table 1. Nonparametric Tests on the Exploitation and Joint-Product Hypotheses
for the Selected Eleven European States, 1925, 1930, and 1935
Year Variables Tested N Spearman R
or Wilcoxon t p
1925 MILBUR, GDP 11 0.26 0.43
1930 MILBUR, GDP 11 0.35 0.28
1935 MILBUR, GDP 11 0.46 0.15
1925 MESHARE,
ECONCINC 11 0.73 0.01
1925* MESHARE,
ECONCINC 11 25.00 0.48
1930 MESHARE,
ECONCINC 11 0.77 0.01
1930* MESHARE,
ECONCINC 11 30.00 0.79
1935 MESHARE,
ECONCINC 11 0.85 0.00
1935* MESHARE,
ECONCINC 11 27.00 0.59
Sources: see Eloranta (2002b) for details. Note: *=Wilcoxon test. GDP equals the
modified real GDP of the state in question in 1929 quasi-USD, as converted in Eloranta
(2002b). The problem associated with small sample size is duly acknowledged here.
The results of the statistical tests relating to hypotheses 1, 2, and 3 can be seen in Table
1. The conclusions arising from these exercises are suggestive. First of all, there was no
evidence of free riding by the “small” in this sample, which is one of the basic
characteristics of an alliance producing a pure public good in the form of deterrence.
This also indicates a negative answer to the hypothesis of inefficiency in the alliance,
especially since there was a general tendency of these states was to overallocate their
economic resources for defense. Furthermore, there was a high level of correlation
between the military spending shares and the economic resources, and the null
hypothesis of the same median cannot be rejected. Thus, they were statistically the
78 Sandler and Hartley 1999, 46-48.
30
same; i.e., the costs and the benefits of defense provision matched, indicating the
presence of joint products. Moreover, hypothesis 4 was further reaffirmed by the results
here. Military spending was an impure public good among these eleven European
States.
What about the impact of the level of development? It seems that hypothesis 5 held only
in the larger sample of twenty-four countries (see Table 2), since clear negative
correlation and statistical dissimilarity between the series was indeed displayed. In the
smaller sample, this relationship became more obscure, although the two cross-section
variables clearly were not statistically the same. Apparently the European democracies,
at least as a whole, did not reduce their military spending according to their level of
development. One might suspect that countries like France had an impact on this end
result. Thus, the overall tendency of interwar states was to reduce their military burden
with economic development, yet income was evidently not enough on its own to explain
the changes in the military burdens.
Table 2. Nonparametric Tests on the Level of Development Hypothesis for the
Selected Eleven European States and the Sample of 24 States, 1925, 1930, 1935
Year Variables Tested N Spearman R
or Wilcoxon t p
1925 MILBUR, GDPCAP 11 -0.52 0.10
1925* MILBUR, GDPCAP 11 0.00 0.00
1930 MILBUR, GDPCAP 11 -0.53 0.10
1930* MILBUR, GDPCAP 11 0.00 0.00
1935 MILBUR, GDPCAP 11 -0.45 0.17
1935* MILBUR, GDPCAP 11 0.00 0.00
1925¤ MILBUR, GDPCAP 22 -0.59 0.00
1925¤* MILBUR, GDPCAP 22 0.00 0.00
1930¤ MILBUR, GDPCAP 24 -0.56 0.00
1930¤* MILBUR, GDPCAP 24 0.00 0.00
1935¤ MILBUR, GDPCAP 24 -0.54 0.01
1935¤* MILBUR, GDPCAP 24 0.00 0.00
Sources: real GDP per capita from Maddison (1995) for the larger sample; for other
variables, see Eloranta (2002b) for details. Note: *=Wilcoxon test; ¤=based on the
sample of twenty-four countries utilized in Eloranta (2002b). The problem associated
with small sample size is duly acknowledged here.
31
We can also utilize a basic military spending demand model (equation 1) to estimate the
impact of the interwar security environment on the military spending patterns of the
eleven European states as a group (i.e., as a panel). In the case of military expenditures
(=ME), one of the most common adaptations of this demand function, following
Sandler-Hartley (1995), is the following basic linear function:
ititi
tiitiiitiitiiit
STRATEGY
THREATSSPILLINSINCOMEPRICEME
εβ
βββββ
++
++++=
5
1,41,3210
...
... (1)
in which ME stands for military expenditures for agent i in year t; PRICE for the price
development of military goods; INCOME for the income of the state in question, for
example GDP per capita; SPILLINS (usually lagged) for spillovers from both actual
defensive alliances and free-riding based on perceived increased security, either as a
combined index or a vector; THREAT (usually lagged) is the perceived military
spending of a potential enemy or enemies, again either as a combined index or a vector;
STRATEGY usually stands for a dummy indicating a change in the defensive or
offensive strategy of the nation or alliance.79
If this simple demand were tested for a single state or a group of states, one would
expect the INCOME variable to have a positive effect, as argued before, thus indicating
that ME is a normal good. The PRICE variable should have a negative impact on ME.
SPILLINS could be expected to have a negative coefficient in an alliance producing a
pure public good with deterrence or at least with some pure public good characteristics,
indicating free-riding behavior. In the presence of joint products spillins are not
perfectly substitutable among states, yet some degree of free riding is likely to occur.
THREATS could be expected to have a positive impact on the said country’s ME. The
effect of STRATEGY depends greatly on the nature of the change in the military
strategy. Moreover, it would also be possible to include a slope dummy (strategy
dummy multiplied by the SPILLINS variable(s)) to see what kind of an impact the
strategy change had on another variable in the equation.
79 See more Sandler-Hartley 1995, 60—62.
32
As indicated above, if defense is purely public in an alliance, SPILLINS should be
perfectly substitutable. Thus, INCOME and SPILLINS could be added together to form
a full income (=FULL) variable. Moreover, the above equation would no longer feature
the SPILLINS and INCOME variables separately rather than the FULL variable alone:
ME=f(PRICE, FULL, THREATS, STRATEGY). In essence, equation 1 is the simplest
form of the joint product model, with joint products being quite unspecified as to their
origins, and the pure public good model with the full income variable is nested within
Equation 1. Equation 1 could be rewritten, for example, as (with ME as an alliancewide
or individual country military spending):
ititi
tiitiiitiitiiit
STRATEGY
THREATSSPILLINSFULLPRICEME
εβ
βββββ
++
++++=
5
1,41,3210
...
... (2)
in which the pure public good alliance would yield a zero coefficient for the SPILLINS
term. It might also be that both the FULL variable and SPILLINS variable are found
statistically significant, indicating the presence of joint products. Moreover, there are a
variety of ways to distinguish between the two models. For example, Todd Sandler and
James Murdoch (1986) used multiple regression analysis to distinguish whether the
coefficient of the SPILLINS variable was different from zero. One could also use, for
example, an F-test to test the coefficients associated with the SPILLINS term.80 In case
the alliance yielded joint products, it could be argued that the military burdens in the
alliance in question should be shared according to the benefits received.
Here I will adhere to their method of analysis and utilize very simplistic versions of the
independent variables. Thus, ME will be represented by either the defense shares or the
military burdens of the eleven states; INCOME refers to their respective adjusted real
GDP in 1929 quasi-USD; PRICE is the real European unit price of arms and
armaments81; SPILLINS will be represented by the real ME in 1929 quasi-USD of the
states in the sample of eleven other than the state in question; FULL as explained above;
THREATS will be formed by a combined threat index representing the most probable
80 Sandler and Murdoch 1990, e.g. 884-885; Cornes and Sandler 1996, 495.
81 Thus, essentially this tests for the responsiveness to a common price variable. Details on this series can
33
threats to these states, explained in Eloranta (2002b); and finally I will attempt to
capture STRATEGY with dummy variables ranging from year 1929 to 1936, although
the actual impact and nature of these dummies will be discussed in connection with the
results. The method utilized here is straightforward GLS (Generalized Least Squares),
since none of the independent variables seemed to be correlated with the error term.
Thus I will not utilize 2SLS (Two-Stage Least Squares), like Sandler-Murdoch (1990)
did, which does entail the notion that a Nash equilibrium or several Nash equilibria
were the fundamental processes behind the data. It is not clear in this sample whether
this indeed was the case for all of the included states.
Table 3. GLS Estimates on the Pure and/or Impure Public Good Characteristics of
Military Spending for the Selected Eleven European States, 1920-1938
Independent Variables Coefficients and
Regression
Statistics
(Dependent
Variable: Defense
Share)
Coefficients and
Regression
Statistics
(Dependent
Variable:
Military Burden)
CONSTANT † 2.88***
PRICE -0.23*** -0.09*
INCOME 4.85*** 3.43**
FULL -5.46*** -4.75**
SPILLINS 0.40** 0.63***
THREATS - 1.65 (t-1)
DUMMY 0.37*** (1933) -
AR(1) 0.69*** 0.99***
N 187 176
S.E. 0.74 0.21
D.W. 1.93 1.89
F 14854 884
Sources: see Eloranta (2002b) for details on the system. * = null hypothesis of no
correlation rejected at 10 per cent level; ** = null rejected at 5 per cent level; *** = null
rejected at 1 per cent level. All variables in logs. Note: † = cross-section specific,
coefficients not listed here. Lag length indicated in parenthesis; for the dummy, the
number indicates the year the relevant dummy is set to 1.
The results listed in Table 3 once again clearly reject the notion that military spending
could have been a pure public good among these eleven European states as a whole. The
be found in Eloranta 2002b.
34
SPILLINS variable was statistically significant in both equations, and the size and sign
of the coefficients were similar in both cases. Also the INCOME variable was
significant in these estimations, as was the FULL income variable. This would indicate
some type of a mix of pure and impure public good characteristics for the military
spending of these countries as a whole. Most likely in a system comprising these states
the FULL variable would be redundant. However, the possible presence of some
autocorrelation and other theoretical aspects related to military spending suggest that
this specification cannot be considered as conclusive. Many relevant independent
variables are still missing from the equation. Also, the form and content of especially
the threat and spillover variables need to be addressed in more detail. The dummy
variable indicating a change in 1933 suggests that the change in the international threat
scenarios and the failure of the “peace process” did have an impact on the military
spending policies of these nations. Whether this embodied a change in their strategy
remains doubtful.
CONCLUSIONS
Why did the League of Nations ultimately fail to achieve widespread disarmament, its
most fundamental goal? The previous explanations have included, among others, the
absence of the United States, failure to resolve the inherent problems between France
and Great Britain and France and Germany respectively, as well as smaller failures
incurred in the handling of the disarmament process. As I have argued in this paper, all
of these explanations have merit, yet the list is hardly conclusive. In fact, the
international environment was not very conducive for breakthroughs in the disarmament
sphere due to the uncertain economic environment (which lacked the basis for
international cooperation), the so-called weak states (in addition to French and British
policy divisions) were not as constructive in the negotiations as is often depicted, and
domestic economic interest groups were often hostile to any significant arms production
and trade limitations. Thus, the member states tended to pursue their own interests,
which were not the same for each state nor were the means that they were ready to use
to achieve their aims.
35
I would argue that the failure of the League of Nations had two important dimensions:
1) The failure to provide adequate security guarantees for its members (like an alliance),
thus encouraging more aggressive policies by authoritarian states and leading to an arms
race; 2) The failure of this organization to achieve the disarmament goals it set out in
the 1920s and 1930s (i.e., the imposition of military spending constraints). Accordingly,
here I have first analyzed how and why the League of Nations failed to provide credible
security guarantees during the interwar period, and what this failure meant for the
military spending decision-making of the member nations. The foreign policy
environment under the superficially strong League of Nations in the 1920s did not
provide encouragement for meaningful spending cuts. This was displayed in the
members’ military spending and naval policies. Moreover, what did the League of
Nations Covenant actually propose in terms of security and how did the different
players adapt to this framework? The League of Nations failed to provide the right
institutional setting for the disarmament bargaining, and thus it was doomed from the
outset to fail, due to inadequacies related to its structure and the players involved.
In addition, in this paper I analyzed whether the League of Nations actually could be
modeled as a military alliance, i.e. whether the military spending of the sample
members exhibited pure public good characteristics. As the logic introduced by Mancur
Olson and Richard Zeckhauser suggests, pure public good alliances are characterized by
free riding by the smaller (or poorer) states. For example, more recent studies have
found the pure public good alliance concept to describe the NATO until 1966, when a
change in the strategic doctrine forced the members to rely more on their own military
provision. This paper explored whether free riding occurred, with both time series and
cross section samples, in order to assess the public good qualities of the League of
Nations “alliance”. The results are fairly conclusive: No free riding occurred. The
League of Nations did not function as a pure public-good alliance. Nor did it provide
adequate security guarantees for its members, which was amply displayed by the
statistical tests. This would indicate some type of a mix of pure and impure public good
characteristics for the military spending of these countries as a whole.
36
If the League failed to provide pure public good in military deterrence, is this the reason
why this organization failed? I would maintain that the answer is yes. Even though the
League was not de jure meant to be a military alliance, its foundations would suggest
this as a de facto goal of the organization. And as an alliance, it failed to provide
adequate security guarantees for its members. Thus the individual countries pursued
their own military spending and naval strategies, undermining the viability of the
League from the very beginning. When we add the unsettled international economic and
political system, various shocks to it (for example, the Great Depression), and the
broadly different (often opposing) negotiation stances of the various states, this
organization was doomed to fail. Its impotence in the 1930s when faced with numerous
crises and challenges was merely the outcome of its failure to become a credible
“alliance”.
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Главната цел на оваа книга е да извлечеме определени заклучоци во однос на однесувањето и изборите кои ги прави една мала сила соочена во директна конфронтација со голема сила. Оваа книга ќе ја започнеме со делот кој се обидува да направи разлика помеѓу поимите на мала и голема држава, како и мала и голема сила. Откако начелно ги поставивме овие контури ќе направиме студии на случај на директен судир помеѓу мала и голема сила и ќе се обидеме да извлечеме соодветни заклучоци. Претходново особено ќе биде прикажано во светлото на теоретската рамка на структурниот реализам и неговата примена во пракса. Ќе се обрне внимание и на постоечката дебата помеѓу дефанзивните и офанзивните реалисти, балансот на силите и функционирањето и карактеристиките на асиметричните сојузи составени од мала и голема сила. Ќе се обидеме и да извлечеме соодветни заклучоци за изборите и можностите на малите сили преку употреба и на теoретската рамка на затвореничката дилема и секако безбедносната дилема. Сето ова ќе биде направено преку анализа на текстот насловен како Мелијанскиот дијалог и обработка на две конкретни студии на случај. Конкретните студии на случај го опфаќаат судирот помеѓу (1) Србија и Австро-Унгарија пред Првата светска војна и (2) Чехословачка и Германија пред Втората светска војна. На ваков начин ќе можеме да го анализираме справувањето на малата сила во конфликт со голема сила во соодветната историска констелација на меѓународните односи сочинети од повеќе големи сили и непостоење на некој вид на светска универзална меѓународна организација (светот пред Првата светска војна) и постоење на повеќе големи сили и постоење на светска универзална меѓународна организација (светот по Првата светска војна). На овој начин се надеваме дека ќе одговориме соодветно на сет прашања, како што се: Што влијаеше повеќе, а што помалку во изборите на раководствата на државите? До кој степен имаат улога внатрешните капацитети на малите сили, а до кој степен надворешните сојузништва во обезбедувањето на безбедноста на истите? Кој е во право во пошироката дебата помеѓу дефанзивните и офанзивните реалисти? и др. Книгата е пишувана на таков начин што ќе има можност да биде користена како практикум за секој студент по меѓународни односи, но и да биде четиво за уживање за секој читател кој нема допирни точки со оваа наука но едноставно ужива во историските случувања. Деталната теоретската рамка следи во наредниот дел. Нашите заклучоци покажуваат дека дефинирањето и разграничувањето на поимите како: мала држава, мала сила, голема држава и голема сила е можно и е потребно. Понатаму, пропагандата во ситуациите кои ги обработуваме секогаш е од големо значење и постои во сите историски епохи (нормално на различни начини). Огромно (ако не и пресудно) влијание за крајниот исход ќе игра некоја трета држава-сојузник на малата сила со одлуката за нејзино вмешување или невмешување во конфликтот (многу повеќе согласно со нејзините проценки наспроти некакви дадени претходни ветувања). Голема улога во одлуката на агресорот за започнување на агресијата имаат внатрешните проблеми и политики, при што многу често на интервенција надвор се гледа како инструмент за решавање на проблеми внатре. Исто така, се покажа дека државите се однесуваат согласно со контурите на дефанзивен реализам во моментите кога практично на тоа се принудени за повторно да се однесуваат согласно со контурите на офанзивниот реализам кога за тоа ќе имаат можност. Конечно, кога е на повидок нарушување на балансот на силите на сметка на една конкретна држава тоа е еден вид аларм за другите држави (особено соседните) да се вклучат во таа идна прераспределба, зашто во спротивно истата ќе биде направена и без нив (и индиректно и на нивна штета во крајна мера).
Thesis
Kedaulatan adalah asas dalam undang-undang antarabangsa, namun ia tidak mempunyai definisi yang diterima secara universal. Kedaulatan adalah keupayaan eksklusif sesebuah negara bagi mengawal dan melindungi integriti wilayah mereka tanpa gangguan atau pengaruh luar. Di bawah undang-undang antarabangsa, kawalan eksklusif sesebuah negara ke atas wilayah dan urusan mereka telah dicabar, menjadi tidak stabil, dan sentiasa berubah-ubah. Sejarah undang-undang antarabangsa bagaimanapun dipenuhi dengan keadaan di mana integriti wilayah negara-negara menjadi terancam melalui pencerobohan. Pencerobohan terbaharu yang berlaku ialah pencerobohan haram pada tahun 2003 ke atas Iraq oleh Amerika Syarikat dan kuasa-kuasa Gabungan yang mendorong idea penulisan tesis ini. Dengan menggunakan kaedah doktrinal dan empirikal, tesis ini mengkaji rangka kerja perundangan bagi konsep kedaulatan serta persoalan mengapa dan bagaimana kedaulatan sentiasa berubah. Tesis ini mengkaji kesan pencerobohan ke atas Iraq, kedaulatan serta faktor-faktor yang menjamin kedaulatan Iraq. Dari sudut perbandingan, tesis ini juga membandingkan pencerobohan USSR ke atas Afghanistan dengan pencerobohan Amerika Syarikat ke atas Iraq bagi mengambil beberapa pengajaran berpunca dari pencerobohan dengan melihat kepada aspek konsep perubahan kedaulatan undang-undang antarabangsa. Dapatan kajian mendapati bahawa pencerobohan Amerika Syarikat adalah berdasarkan risikan yang direka serta maklumat palsu. Pencerobohan ini ternyata telah menjejaskan kedaulatan Iraq. Kajian juga mendapati terdapat pilih kasih dalam sistem PBB dalam penguatkuasaan larangan undang-undang antarabangsa terhadap pencerobohan negara merdeka. Walaupun PBB dan masyarakat antarabangsa sentiasa bertindak pantas mengutuk pencerobohan yang dilakukan kepada negara-negara kecil seperti pencerobohan Iraq ke atas Kuwait, tiada kutukan dan tindakan yang sama dilakukan terhadap pencerobohan haram yang dilakukan oleh Amerika Syarikat ke atas Iraq. Tesis ini juga mendapati bahawa Amerika Syarikat telah melebihi had yang dibenarkan dengan mendapatkan kuasa di bawah undang-undang antarabangsa. Amerika Syarikat juga menukar undang-undang jenayah, tentera dan mengubah institusi Iraq dan lain-lain. Selain itu, tesis mendapati bahawa undang-undang antarabangsa tidak mempunyai proses tebus rugi untuk membayar pampasan kepada negara-negara mangsa pencerobohan haram seperti Iraq. Tesis ini mencadangkan bahawa kedaulatan seperti yang dipersetujui dalam perjanjian dan perlembagaan negara mestilah benar, dihormati oleh semua negara sama ada besar atau kecil. PBB perlu menubuhkan skim institusi untuk membangunkan semula Iraq yang telah berdepan dengan pencerobohan haram yang menyalahi undang-undang serta berasaskan kepada maklumat palsu.
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Today’s tensions and challenges at the global governance level seem to constitute structural expressions of the global system’s mutations towards the post-COVID-19 era. This study examines whether the structural changes observed in various socio-economic dimensions and interdependent spatial levels due to the pandemic crisis are accelerating the emergence of a new phase of global governance. It investigates whether Rodrik’s trilemma (the incompatibility of synchronously achieving national sovereignty, democracy and globalization) seems to be relatively inadequate to approach today’s emerging global reality and challenges comprehensively. After an elliptic overview of world governance’s evolutionary shaping and reaching the present-day necessarily repositioned role of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), we argue that these countries must no longer be perceived as emerging exceptional cases but as central participants, equally responsible for promoting a more balanced and sustainable development perspective for the less developed socio-economic formations and the entire global socio-economic system’s stability. We conclude that in the progressively shaped ‘new globalization’, which is a distinct evolutionary phase of the international economy and international relations, Rodrik’s trilemma seems to some extent analytically insufficient since there is no more a sustainable optimum in any of its coupled dimensions, which could allow a viable exit from the current crisis.
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ملخص: إن فكرة األممية من الركائز األساسية للنظام الدويل منذ ما يزيد عىل مئة عام. وقد أصبحت األممية الليربالية النموذج السائد للتعامل مع األزمات الدولية منذ هناية احلرب الباردة عىل وجه ّل إىل هذا النهج يف أعقاب األزمة املالية العاملية عام 2008 .واملتوقع اخلصوص. وبدأ الضعف يتسل من وباء كوفيد-19 ِّ أن يرس ّ ع يف إضعاف اآلليات اجلارية التي تشك ّ ل النظام الدويل، وتقدم احللول لألزمات الدولية. وهناك ثالثة سيناريوهات يمكن أن تكون عليها فرتة ما بعد وباء كوفيد-19 ، هي: تعديل األممية الليربالية، أو قيام نظام دويل يتمحور حول الصني أو حول القوى اإلقليمية، أو الفوىض. وكل سيناريو من هذه الثال ّ ثة يقوم عىل مقاربات خمتلفة يف حل األزمات الدولية. The idea of internationalism is one of the fundamental pillars of international order. Liberal internationalism became the predominant paradigm for dealing with global problems since the end of the Cold War. Liberal internationalism is in decline since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. COVID-19 Pandemic is expected to accelerate the dissolution of the existing liberal order further. Three alternative scenarios are mentioned to replace the current order. Revised internationalism, China-centric or regional power centric, and chaos are the alternatives discussed here.