C! Special: “We are at the Threshold of Economic War” – Albrecht Ritschl

This is our special podcast series on the Ukraine crisis. In our new CONVOCO! Podcast Corinne M. Flick speaks with Albrecht Ritschl, Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics.  

"We are at the Threshold of Economic War"

Here’s what he said:

The international order has fallen apart. We should change into damage control mode. The question is no longer whether we can reinstall the post-1989 order. The question is which new balance of power can be established without much further violence.

Human rights play no role anymore … The threshold to an international expansion of conflict might be lower. There might be skirmishes along the Polish border, skirmishes along the Baltic borders, provocation.

We have all been impressed with our own courage and our own enthusiasm. That worries me … because it reminds me of the enthusiasm in 1914 … We might be sliding into something that is much bigger than anybody wants to.

There does not seem to be anybody in the West who is pushing for active military intervention in this war … There is no military conflict, and hopefully there won’t be any, but the economic conflict is there. This is a situation which is akin to economic warfare.

Russia has much more bargaining power than other places … It would take a major diplomatic and political effort to even get to proper talking terms again. Russia’s isolation may be with us for a generation.

There is a minimal configuration of sanctions that are being adopted everywhere. Including in places like Switzerland. The attempt by the Russians to sow division among the West and play different actors off against each other has not quite worked.

The historical evidence on sanctions is mixed. Typically, the longer the sanctions are in place, the less effective they are.

Previous C! Spezial: “Wandel durch Handel” war eine Illusion – Monika Schnitzer


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