Guns and Butter

Is global power now about economic strength?

Early in 2014, Obama teased Putin that we had grown out of military solutions. That was before Russia invaded Ukraine and US bombers returned to the Middle East. Is it a fantasy to imagine that the economy has replaced the barrel of the gun as the real source of power? Or is this a short cut to Armageddon?

Rana Mitter is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at Oxford University. He is also a regular presenter of Night Waves and contributor to The Financial Times, History Today, and the London Review of Books.

Here, he speaks to the IAI about China’s global economic vision and the difference between soft power and military strength.


In the debate on IAI TV you argued that economic power has trumped military strength around the globe. Could you expand on that? How has that taken place?

I was thinking specifically about the A

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Dzen_o 8 March 2016

“Is global power now a matter of economic, rather than military, strength?”

- that seems as rather strange question. It is well known that the politic is concentrated manifestation of the economic, when any war is the realisation of the politic by some other means and tools…