War economy

War economy

War economy is the term used to describe the contingencies undertaken by the modern state to mobilise its economy for war production. Philippe Le Billon describes a war economy as a "system of producing, mobilising and allocating resources to sustain the violence". The war economy can form an economic system termed the "military-industrial complex". Many states increase the degree of planning in their economies during wars; in many cases this extends to rationing, and in some cases to conscription for civil purposes, such as the Women's Land Army and Bevin Boys in the United Kingdom in World War II.

Franklin D. Roosevelt said that if the Axis Powers win, then "we would have to convert ourselves permanently into a militaristic power on the basis of war economy." [ [http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speechesfdrarsenalofdemocracy.html] Dead link|date=March 2008]

In what is known as total war, these economies are often seen as targets by many militaries. The Union blockade during the American Civil War is regarded as one of the first examples of this.

Concerning the side of aggregate demand, this concept has been linked to the concept of "military Keynesianism", in which the government's military budget stabilizes business cycles and fluctuations and/or is used to fight recessions.

On the supply side, it has been observed that wars sometimes have the effect of accelerating progress of technology to such an extent that an economy is greatly strengthened after the war, especially if it has avoided the war-related destruction. This was the case, for example, with the United States in World War I and World War II. Some economists (such as Seymour Melman) argue, however, that the wasteful nature of much of military spending eventually can hurt technological progress.

Further reading

*Appadurai, Arjun. (1991). "Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy". in M. Featherstone (ed.) "Global Culture: Nationalism, Globalisation and Modernity". London: Sage. 295 - 310.
*Franklin, Sarah, Lury, Celia & Stacey, Jackie. (2000)." Global nature/global culture". London: SAGE.
*Giddens, Anthony. (2002). "Runaway World: How Globalisation is Shaping Our Lives" (New Edition). London: Profile. 6 - 19.
*Goldstein, Joshua S. (2001). "War and gender: How gender shapes the war system and vice versa". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
*Moeller, Susan. (1999). "Compassion Fatigue", "Compassion Fatigue: How the Media Sells Disease, Famine, War and Death". New York & London: Routledge. 6 - 53.
*Paolini, Albert. (1997). "Globalisation" in P. Darby (ed.) "At the Edge of International Relations: Postcolonialism, Gender and Dependency". London & New York: Pinter. 33 -60.


ee also

* Wartime communism

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