This stream of consciousness will be a classic case of Dunning-Kruger effect, speaking as someone who’s education in international relation began and ended in an “Introduction to IR” class where I ended up with a solid B, never spoke up in class, and generally got confused while doing the readings.
But one of the classic theories I remember is the Golden Arches Theory of Peace. It states that:
No two countries that both have a McDonald’s have ever fought a war against each other
which, given the current situation, can probably be declared officially dead. Side note, does the theory apply if McDonald’s retroactively pulls out of Russia?
Perhaps the better theory should have the caveat that both countries have functioning democracies. This seems better supported by the small data set at hand: the main counterexamples on Wikipedia (with the exception of Israel/Lebanon) seems to justify the addendum.
This makes intuitive sense. Having a McDonald’s franchise necessarily mean that the country is fairly stable, has a solid logistical base, and can generate income. However, this doesn’t mean much in terms of politics of the country. Case in point, China.
It’s also worrying to see what has happened in Ukraine from the lens that it’s the death rattle of Putin. There’s been rumors of Putin’s declining health, and perhaps this is his need to create a “legacy”? This doesn’t bode well for the Taiwan-China situation either, as China has a huge demographic time bomb caused by the one-child policy. What will happen once that starts to happen?
I really don’t need this century to have another global-order-redefining war.