Domestic politics and the strategy of international trade


Journal Article

The policymaking problem in international trade is fundamentally strategic, since optimal national policy depends on what other nations choose to do. The game is not between unitary rational actors, however, but rather between players with considerable internal divisions about what policy should be. There is a rich domestic politics to international trade policymaking. Conventional wisdom holds that internal division is a liability in international interactions. This article demonstrates that if countries are divided internally between divergent interests, this will alter the outcome of strategic games between countries in, for example, setting tariffs. In particular, internal division can actually be helpful to a country, since a protectionist faction helps to make a protectionist threat more credible. Copyright © 1991 Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Mayer, FW

Published Date

  • January 1, 1991

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 222 - 246

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-6688

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0276-8739

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2307/3325173

Citation Source

  • Scopus