Scholars in economics, sociology, international relations and political science note the changing dynamics of socioeconomic development in the world (Berger & Weber, 2009; Collier, 2004; Milanovic, 2005). Of particular concern are the rising developmental inequities that have become quite visible by the beginning of the new millennium. Putting it simply, while richer countries were marching to meet their ambitious goals, the poorest ones were falling even further away from them: according to Branco Milanovic (2005), the gap between the poorest and middle-income countries has widened. Researchers suggest that more frequent involvement of the poorest countries in civil conflicts and wars might be the primary cause of their failure to develop (Berger & Weber, 2009; Collier, 2004; Milanovic, 2005). Definitely, civil conflicts and wars exhaust the scarce financial and human capitals owned by the poorest countries. The negative relationship between war and development is quite logical. In the midst of a civil conflict, poor countries fail to improve the socioeconomic conditions of life for their citizens, even when abundant financial, educational, political and developmental resources pour into their budgets from the richer world (Collier, 2004). Countries that have escaped such conflicts have also managed to cross the line of crisis and enter a new stage of productive development. China is a good example of a state that, from being an emergent market, has gradually become one of the leaders of global economic development.
However, the relationship between peace, war and development is not linear. Wars can bring devastation, but even in a world that has become global, the role of the nation state should not be neglected. As Berger and Weber (2009) write, globalization has shifted the emphasis toward redistribution and the provision of welfare as the primary functions of the state, but continual involvement of this state in these processes is still mandatory. China has avoided any major military conflicts and has successfully redesigned its processes and functions to meet the demands of globalization, but it has also retained the primary role of the nation-state in its development. Its example suggests that wars are not the only factor of development at the state level; peace by itself does not bring the desired result, unless a robust system of governance is in place to monitor and redirect the key socioeconomic and international processes.
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