Design a site like this with
Get started

The Economic Conditions for the Peace


A year has passed since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and nothing seems to indicate that the flames of war are dying. Why does the war still continue? Why are military tensions rising in the world?

We reject the thesis of a ‘clash of civilisations’. Rather, we need to recognise that the contradictions in the deregulated global economic system have made geopolitical tensions more acute.

One of the worst faults of the present system is the imbalance in economic relations inherited from the era of free-market globalization. We refer to international net positions, where the United States, the United Kingdom and various other Western countries have large external debts, while China, other Eastern countries, and to some extent Russia are in an external credit position.

A consequence of this imbalance is a tendency to export eastern capital to the west, no longer only in the form of loans but also of acquisitions leading to a centralization of capital in eastern hands.

To counter this trend, the United States and its major allies have for several years abandoned their previous enthusiasm for deregulated globalism and have  adopted a policy of “friend shoring”: an increasingly pronounced protectionist closure against goods and capital from China, Russia and  much of the non-aligned East. The European Union too has been joining this American-led protectionist turn.

If history is any guide, these uncoordinated forms of protectionism exacerbate international tensions and create favourable conditions for new military clashes. The conflict in Ukraine and rising tensions in the Far and Middle East can be fully understood only in the light of these economic contradictions.

A new international economic policy initiative is therefore required to launch a realistic pacification process.

A plan is needed to regulate current account imbalances, which draws on Keynes’s plan for an international clearing union. A development of this idea today should start from a double renunciation: the United States and its Allies should abandon the unilateral protectionism of “friend shoring,” while China and other creditors should abandon their espousal of unfettered free trade.

We are aware that we are evoking a solution of “enlightened capitalism” that was outlined after the outbreak of two world wars and under the goad of the Soviet alternative. This is exactly the urgent task of our time: we need to assess whether it is possible to create the economic conditions for world pacification before military tensions reach a point of no return.


Emiliano Brancaccio (University of Sannio, IT) and Robert Skidelsky (Warwick University, GB), with Rania Antonopoulos (Levy Economics Institute, US), Pier Giorgio Ardeni (University of Bologna, IT), Josef Baum (University of Vienna, AT), Johannes M. Becker (Philipps University of Marburg, DE), Rosaria Rita Canale (Università Parthenope, IT), Margarida Chagas Lopes (Universidade de Lisboa, PT), Marcella Corsi (University La Sapienza, IT), Christophe Depoortère (University of Reunion, FR), Jesus Ferreiro (University of the Basque Country, ES), Giuseppe Fontana (University of Leeds, GB), Mauro Gallegati (Marche Polytechnic University, IT), Alicia Girón (Universidad Nacional Autonoma, MX), Rebeca Gomez Betancourt (University of Lyon 2, FR), Gjalt Huppes (Leiden University, NL), Grazia Ietto-Gillies (London South Bank University, GB), Jakob Kapeller (University Duisburg-Essen, DE), Stefano Lucarelli (Università di Bergamo, IT), Mahmood Messkoub (ISS, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, NL), Juan Carlos Moreno Brid (Universidad Nacional Autónoma, MX), Júlio Marques Mota (University of Coimbra, PT), Dimitri Papadimitriou (Levy Economics Institute, US), Ugo Pagano (University of Siena, IT), Heikki Patomäki (University of Helsinki, FI), Paolo Pini (University of Ferrara, IT), Louis-Philippe Rochon (Laurentian University, CA), Sergio Rossi (University of Fribourg, CH), Donald Sassoon (Queen Mary, University of London, GB), Mario Seccareccia (University of Ottawa, CA), Gennaro Zezza (Levy Economics Institute, US), and others.

To sign the appeal, please send name and affiliation to: