Interstate Conflict Most Likely Threat to Stability

In a recent article released by the World Economic Forum, the risk assessment put “interstate conflict with regional consequences” at the top of the list of the number one global risks in terms of likelihood. This specific threat has been out of the forefront for many years, and based on a poll of over 900 experts, 2015 “stands out as a year when geopolitical risks return to the fore”. We have not needed to worry much about the probability and risk of major conflict between states, unfortunately, the means of producing such an attack has drastically expanded.

Fellow geopolitical threats such as; state collapse or crisis, failure of national governance, terrorist attacks and weapons of mass destruction dominated the World Economic Forums risk assessment with their ever increasing likelihood. The risk of interstate conflict was followed by extreme weather events, failure of national governance systems, state collapse or crisis and high structural unemployment or underemployment.
Oliver Wyman Video

John Drzik—President of Global Risk and Specialties at Marsh, and Chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies’ Global Risk Center

We have seen an influx in intrastate conflict in the recent years, and in order to understand interstate conflict we must first take a look at intrastate conflict. Focusing on the realist argument, we can see that states are inherently self-interested where survival is the principle goal of every state. Realist theory looks at states as rationalist actors acting in such a way to maximize their likelihood of continuing to exist. Intrastate conflict has a tendency of influencing interstate conflict, for example the conflicts in Afghanistan or the Democratic Republic of Congo have implemented themselves into their neighboring states, affecting the regions political and economic stability. Seeing threats like these pop up in various places around the world; Ukraine, China, African states, we can clearly see that many of these intrastate conflicts have begun to bubble up and further affect the areas surrounding them. Which can slowly lead us into an era of heated conflicts between states. Therefore, world leaders should focus a majority of energy on creating a norm of cooperation between states rather than engaging in conflict.


5 thoughts on “Interstate Conflict Most Likely Threat to Stability

  1. I completely understand how the geopolitical threats have led to increased likelihood of conflict breaking out. Conflicts have torn apart countries like Syria and they continue to cause chaos for these countries. There is complete instability and disorganization. I think that cooperation will always be the way to avoid war or conflict but I am not sure what would be the best way to stopping conflicts within countries.


  2. I agree with your last statement that world leaders should focus a majority of their energy on creating a norm of cooperation between states rather then getting involved in the conflict. I feel when more people start to get involved than needed then the conflict becomes even bigger than it needed to be. I know that this is easier said then done but if different leaders talk about how they can promote cooperation than maybe it will be easier to do. It is something that will take a while but maybe cooperation will become the norm and will make decrease the amount of conflict that occurs.


  3. certainly cooperation between countries is the ideal way to avoid conflict, but its much easier said than done. Many leaders are just fundamentally bad people and are incapable of cooperation due to ideology or their want for power. The Middle East for example, a place torn by interstate conflict will never probably never adopt a norm of cooperation due to differences in ideology and self interests


  4. Cooperation is ideal to maintain stability. All countries are dependent on one another almost like how dominos are. When one falls, the rest fall. Like you stated in your post, how the conflicts within a state will affect the neighboring states. It is the individual leaders however, and their ideologies that create either conflict or cooperation.


  5. This post really made a lot of sense and was very well explained. For countries that have problems tend to spread them around to others near by. If there is no peace around a country then for it to remain stable would be a hard task. The leaders in situations like these have to be strong and have their countries support or they will lose control. There are always problems in each country and if the problems are not controlled properly then people will go against their government and cause issues which carry to others. People will leave their country when problems arise or other people in other countries will see that in other countries revolution gives the people power. That will make them react to problems more radically. I loved this post.


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