a1 Editor of the Journal of Conflict Resolution, is Professor of Political Science at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Many commentators have sounded alarms about the alleged dependence of developed, industrialized countries on assured supplies of raw materials from overseas. Their alarms have disturbing implications for the future of these countries' foreign policies and may, for example, be used to justify political or military interventions in the Third World. These commentators, however, frequently proceed from very primitive conceptual foundations. A careful specification of the dangers involved, and of strategies for measuring various aspects of dependence, points up some of the shortcomings of simplistic analysis. It also suggests that the risks of dependence on foreign sources of most raw materials are easily exaggerated, at least for the United States.