Prof. Erik Gartzke


Born Circa 1970


Professor Erik Gartzke is the leading scholar of the "Liberal Peace Theory" and a Professor at the University of California, San Diego. Addressing the “Democratic Peace Theory,” Prof. Gartzke insists that liberal economies enable peace. His research focuses on “the impact of information and institutions on war and peace,” though he is also recognized for his work on nuclear proliferation and diplomacy.


Essential Thoughts


As wealth becomes less tangible, more mobile, distributed, and more dependent on the good will of investors, it also becomes more difficult to coerce. 


Liberal economic processes do in fact lead to peace, even accounting for the well-documented role of liberal politics. Democracy cohabitates with peace. It does not, by itself, lead nations to be less conflict prone, not even toward other democracies.


Liberal scholarship details two paths to peace, one dominated by democracy, the other guided by the philosophy of market economics. 


Democratization, paradoxically, implies increasing tensions among democracies. Free markets and development, in contrast, lead nations closer together.


While policy differences or resource competition can generate conflict, they need not produce contests if states can resolve differences diplomatically. Liberal theory emphasizes the pacifying effect of cross-border economic linkages.


— "The Capitalist Peace"