War: Could The “Golden Arches” Be The Answer?

There are times when I need a few moments of insanity and when that occurs I turn to the tellie to ease my troubled brain…..I was watching an ad for the new movie about the founder of the world famous McDonald’s franchise…..when something snapped in the deep recesses of my mind…..”Golden Arches”……”Golden Arches”?

I intend to pass on some of the theories I studied in school and believe me there are a wealth of them.

I recall when studying conflict management and resolution in college there was a theory that involved the “Golden Arches”…(thinking….thinking…..thinking)…..finally as I sat at my desk thinking it came to me….BAM!…… in a flash of inspiration….The “Golden Arches” Theory of Conflict Prevention….

Anyway while we were studying conflicts this came up as one of those WTF? theories…..after all there are as many theories here as hairs on your butt……

Let’s get to it….shall we?

The Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention was proposed by economist Thomas Friedman as a way of explaining how globalization affects foreign policy and conflict. Essentially, the Theory points out that no two countries that both have McDonalds franchises have ever gone to war. The reasoning behind this correlation, Friedman says, is that once economies become sufficiently integrated, both the cost of going to war and the amount of contact between two countries will increase. Both these factors lead to more effective conflict resolution, as states will attempt to pursue the more economically beneficial option. Friedman’s argument echoes the main suppositions of the democratic peace theory, which states that democracies never go to war. Friedman’s analysis simply takes this argument further in his economic emphasis, although he places a similar amount of emphasis on the role of domestic society in influencing a government’s willingness to go to war.

See….even international relations geeks have a sense of humor…..

A fascinating theory but a bit much….there are problems with this…….

The Golden Arches Theory has not held true in all cases, and explanations to explain these inconsistencies vary. In some cases, the increased contact between two countries due to integration may actually exacerbate points of contention between the two states, leading to more opportunities for conflict. Or, the difference may lie in the type of government in power: a democratic government may follow the Golden Arches Theory, but the Theory may break down when confronted with cases of nondemocratic or authoritarian regimes. The Golden Arches Theory assumes that governments respond to the desires of their constituents for economic stability and that the government knows it will be held accountable in the case that it does not provide for the economic well-being of its citizens. In the case of an authoritarian or nondemocratic state, leaders may not experience these dilemmas, causing them not to act in accordance with the Golden Arches Theory.

Now you know more than most about international relations and conflict resolution.

You’re welcome.


16 thoughts on “War: Could The “Golden Arches” Be The Answer?

  1. Actually, that was one of my solutions for getting out of Vietnam… “We just pull out, declare we won, send them a KFC,a Pizza Hut, and a McDonalds… they will be our friends forever.”

    I said the same thing after 9/11.. “Send to all the Third World Muslim countries a Col. Chicken, McDonalds, and a Pizza Hut.. introduce them to American decadence.. and they will be too busy consuming themselves to worry about jihads, and give them something to live for..”

      1. Well, it worked in China and in Russia. Ok, they aren’t bosom buddies but they have mellowed out and fallen into a free market in their own ways. While fast food is a symbolic submission to American economics, the point is that globalization is the only way to proceed.. BUT.. with caution and moderation so that cutures can adapt, domestic workers can adapt to new avenues of industrial growth, yet retain national identities enough for healthy nationalism.

  2. If burgers are not working, maybe a Starbucks on every corner is the answer. They could serve that thick strong coffee enjoyed in those regions, and maybe have outside tables with shisha pipes too.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. Technically speaking, once KFC, Taco Bell, McDonalds, etc. arrive in a country, the obesity and heart disease aren’t too far behind. Countries get to a point where they are too lazy to want to fight and end up just ignoring the problems and order another burger with fries.

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