“I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that this will be the most important political economy article published this year. Farrell and Newman argue that economic globalization has generated powerful economic networks, which the central actor can potentially exploit for coercive gain. In both finance and the Internet, they identify two mechanisms through which the United States has asymmetrically gained: “States can employ the ‘panopticon effect’ to gather strategically valuable information [and] they can employ the ‘chokepoint effect’ to deny network access to adversaries.”
While the United States has been the actor to benefit most from these forms of weaponized interdependence, Farrell and Newman caution that this could be coming to an end soon. Furthermore, I wager that one of the reasons for Beltway hysteria over China is that Beijing is poised to exploit 21st-century networks (5G, Belt and Road) in a similar fashion.”
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