Trade has long been considered a core dimension of international relations. Whether it is a factor of peace or war, favoring or affecting the “Wealth of Nations,” is a question that has been debated for centuries, ever since the mercantilists put in place a protectionist, interventionist, and colonial economic system in the sixteenth century. Adam Smith criticized the mercantilist theory in the eighteenth century, and ever since, classical economics favoring free markets has been dominant. So too has the idea that trade contributes to the pacification of international relations, except for the Marxist tradition that points out the contradictions generated by the expansion of capitalism, and in its modern Latin American version, the dependency of the periphery.


Integration Process Regional Integration European Economic Community Critical Juncture Central American Country 
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© Olivier Dabène 2009

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