Effect of trade in strategically significant sectors on the likelihood of conflict
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In the modern, globalized economy countries are becoming increasingly intertwined economically and this growing interdependence will have an impact on how foreign policy is conceived. My thesis analyzes the relationship between strategically significant trade and conflict by analyzing dyadic trade data between Russia and 31 countries from 1993 to 2009, specifically identifying trade in fuels such as oil and natural gas as strategically important resource trade. This research aims to contribute to the discussion on whether high levels of trade in strategically significant resources decreases the likelihood of conflict and build on existing literature on the effects of trade on international relations. To test this claim, my model employed several control variables ranging from contiguity to trade dependence and used logistic regression to analyze the relationships between variables. Analysis showed that there is no statistically significant relationship between fuel trade and conflict in the sample used. Additionally my model found evidence to suggest that contiguity and NATO membership both have significant effects on the likelihood of conflict in the region studied.