Conferences & Workshops

Economics and Security Reconsidered, June 2016

The linkages between economics and security have generated longstanding interest on the part of social scientists, but developments in contemporary global politics encourage a reconsideration of this critical topic. Countries regularly wield economic weapons to advance foreign policy goals, eroding the divide between economic and security relations. The global financial crisis and its political aftershocks have elevated economic vulnerability and the long- term consequences of economic shocks as national security concerns. Competition among resource-poor emerging economies has revived predictions of resource conflicts. Far-right parties in Europe have promoted a political backlash against economic insecurity-attributed to both global and regional (EU) economic integration.

Theoretical innovations in political economy could also promote a new research agenda on the economics of national security. For example, open economy politics (OEP) models have become increasingly prominent in research on the international political economy and could shed new light on the linkages between economics and security. The “new, new trade theory,” insights into global value chains, and vertical and horizontal integration of production processes may offer new purchase on the economic infrastructure for national and global security. We aim for this workshop to produce papers that will add theoretical depth and empirical breadth to research on the political economy of international security.

Four themes will frame the workshop. Recent changes in the international political economy including burgeoning foreign direct investment, fragmentation of production in global supply chains, and the proliferation of bilateral and regional economic institutions— raise questions about past findings in the literature on the political economy of national security, much of which focused on trade interdependence. Non-state actors and civil conflict—familiar features of post-9/11 security studies—have not been adequately connected to cross-border economic exchange, as cause or effect. Research on economics-security linkages would benefit from studies of Asia and of the emerging economies, especially Brazil, China, India, and Russia. Finally, data on new manifestations of economic interdependence have become more readily available. New methodologies rooted in experimental design are 2 receiving wider application in international political economy. These new data sources and methodological innovations hold considerable promise for the exploration of the causal links between economics and security.



The Political Economy of National Security in East Asia, July 2009 & July 2010

During 2009 and 2010, the Browne Center convened two sessions of a conference examining links between political economy and international security in East Asia. In July 2009, scholars from the U.S. and China met at Penn to present preliminary drafts of their papers and receive comments and suggestions from other contributors to the volume and from a set of distinguished American experts invited to the session as discussants. In July 2010, the authors reconvened in Beijing where they presented full drafts of their papers for further discussion and comments from a set of distinguished Chinese experts and one American who offered her suggestions for final revisions of all the papers as the project moves forward. Together with an introduction written by the Browne Center’s Director and Associate Director, the final drafts of the eight conference papers now comprise a manuscript designed to appear as an edited volume whose themes are previewed below.

East Asia has experienced more than three decades of peace and prosperity, a sharp contrast with the recurrent wars and lagging development that plagued much of the region during earlier eras. The last major military conflict, the Sino-Vietnamese War, ended in 1979. That year also marked the beginning of sweeping economic reforms initiated under Deng Xiaoping’s leadership in China. China’s reforms, however, were only the most widely publicized efforts at economic liberalization throughout the region since the late twentieth century. These policy shifts have enabled many East Asian countries to share in a newfound prosperity that had previously taken root in Japan and the “four tigers”. Yet this era of peace and growth has been punctuated by periodic reminders of enduring security problems in the region. Do these security problems pose a threat to East Asia’s record of economic success? Or does that economic success and the greater levels of international economic cooperation that have accompanied it provide a foundation for political cooperation and the management of security problems? The contributors to our project shed new light on these important questions.

The contributors examine the nexus of economic and security relations in East Asia. They usefully draw on a rich variety of approaches that illuminate key questions about a region whose importance for students of both international political economy and international security has grown dramatically over the past thirty years. Their work suggests, in various ways, that the interaction of economic and security concerns defies simply categorizing either as cause and the other as effect. To grasp the reasons for, and evaluate the durability of, East Asia’s recent peace and prosperity, both economic and security “fundamentals” matter. The essays comprising this project explore how they matter and why.

The paper contributors were:

  • Edward Mansfield and Avery Goldstein (University of Pennsylvania), "The Political Economy of National Security in East Asia: An Introduction"
  • Wu Xinbo (Fudan University), “The Spillover Effect of ASEAN Plus Three Process on East Asian Security”
  • M. Taylor Fravel (MIT), “Economics and Security: The Effect of Economic Growth on China’s Military Strategy”
  • Zhang Tuosheng (China Foundation for International and Strategic Studies), “Disputes over Territories, Maritime Rights and Interests in East Asia and Their Political-Economic Implications" 
  • Danielle Cohen and Jonathan Kirshner (Cornell University), “The Cult of Energy Insecurity and Great Power Rivalry Across the Pacific”
  • Yuan Peng (China Institute of Contemporary International Relations), “Sino-American Cooperation in Northeast Asia: Perspectives of Interdependence and Regional Security”
  • Miles Kahler (UC San Diego), “Regional Economic Institutions and East Asian Security”
  • Benjamin Jerry Cohen (University of California, Santa Barbara), “Finance and Security in East Asia”
  • Michael Horowitz (University of Pennsylvania, “Dual Use Technologies, the Information Age, and the Production of Military Power in East Asia"

The discussants were:

Patrick McDonald (University of Texas), Michael Mastanduno (Dartmouth), Robert Ross, (Boston College), Evan Medeiros (RAND), Etel Solingen (University of California, Irvine), Liu Xuecheng (Chinese Institute for International Studies), Zhang Qingmin (Peking University), Zha Daojiong (Peking University), Wang Yizhou (Peking University)


Interview Methods in Political Science, January 2010

In January 2010, the Browne Center for International Politics funded a conference on the use of interview methods in political science research.  The conference, organized by Layna Mosely (UNC Chapel Hill), included scholars working in international relations, comparative politics and American politics, who have conducted interviews with legislators, political party leaders, union members, congressional staffers, NGOs and participants in civil wars.  These scholars had worked in locations including Brazil, China, Denmark, Germany, Lebanon, Mexico, Rwanda, Sudan, and the United States. 

The participants included Matt Beckman (UC Irvine), Sarah Brooks (Ohio State), Melani Cammet (Brown), Lee Ann Fujii (George Washington), Mary Gallagher (Michigan), Julia Lynch (Penn), Cathie Jo Martin (Boston U), Lauren Morris McLean (Indiana), Will Reno (Northwestern), and Reuel Rogers (Northwestern).  Conference participants also included faculty and graduate students from Duke University and UNC. Following the conference, the papers were collected into a manuscript for an edited volume, which is currently under review at a university press. The conference was co-funded by the Duke University Center for International Studies.


International Political Economy Society Annual Conference, 14-15 November 2008

The 2008 annual conference of the International Political Economy Society was held at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.  The Browne Center hosted and underwrote the costs of the conference.  The conference participants presented research on topics as diverse as foreign aid, international trade, globalization, and soccer violence.  The program for the conference and many of the papers presented are available here.

Intergovernmental Organizations in Action, 30 August 2006

In August 2006, the Browne Center hosted a conference on the political economy of international organizations.  In April 2008, most of the papers presented at this conference were published in a special issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution, a leading interdisciplinary journal. 

The participants included Charles Boehmer (Texas-El Paso), Hans Dorussen (Essex), Emilie Hafner-Burton (Princeton), Paul Ingram (Columbia), Edward Mansfield (Penn), Sara McLaughlin Mitchell (Iowa), Jon Pevehouse (Chicago), Jana von Stein (Michigan), and Hugh Ward (Essex).


Origins & Evolution in Corporate Governance – A Clash of Paradigms, 15 October 2004

Conference Co-Sponsored with the Wharton Management Department

This conference was designed to reflect on the larger debates regarding globalization and institutional change. It addressed issues of corporate governance that go to the heart of debates on economic development, firm strategy, and organization, as well as the essential features of sustainable capitalism. The conference featured the following scholars:

  • John Padgett (University of Chicago), “Elite Transformation and the Rise of Economic Credit in Renaissance Florence”
  • Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes (Yale University), “What Works in Securities Law?”
  • Mark Roe (Harvard University), “Political Determinants of Corporate Goverence: Political Context, Corporate Impact”



Jessica Stanton Book Manuscript Workshop, 11 April 2011
"Strategies of Violence and Restraint in Civil War"
Discussants: Alex Downes (Duke University) and Stathis Kalyvas (Yale University)

David Steinberg Book Manuscript Workshop, 29 April 2011
"The Politics of Exchange Rate Valuation in Developing Countries"
Discussants: Stephan Haggard (University of California, San Diego) and Jeffry Frieden (Harvard University)

Alex Weisiger Book Manuscript Workshop, 16 October 2009
From Small Wars to Armageddon: Explaining Interstate War Duration and Severity 
Discussants: Hein Goemans (Rochester University) and Dan Reiter (Emory University)

Anne E. Sartori and Fiona McGillivray Book Manuscripts Workshop, Spring 2002
Deterrence by Diplomacy (Sartori)
Discussant: Fiona McGillivray (Yale University)

Fighting for the Marginals: Political Institutions and Industry Handouts (McGillivray)
Discussant: Anne Sartori (Princeton University)