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State Power and the Structure of International Trade

Research Question of the Article: The author, Stephen D. Krasner seeks to explain the major factors, concepts, structures, theories, and important data that International Political Economy (IPE) experts have presented in the last few years regarding international trade. Moreover, the author has weighed the pros and cons of political researchers’ and scientists’ opinions regarding expansion in the global exchange of goods and services. In his exploration of factors and intricacies of international trade, Krasner elaborates on the importance of comprehending the power and influence of government departments and international institutions. Various global and domestic factors, interactions, regulations, and policies contribute to the expansion of the international exchange of services and goods (Krasner, 1976). The author raises his concerns on certain contemplations presented by some experts on the topic and tries to answer some questions in this regard. According to Krasner, the role of great powers is considerable in the expansion of global trade. The reviewers might see many gaps in the article although it seems lucid for new learners of global trade and the IPE.

Main Arguments and Theories: Krasner negates the confined idea of the state, which poses problems for the international exchange of goods and services. He has written the article in 1976, which was a period of political turmoil. It might be the reason that he has used the theory of hegemonic stability. “In recent years, students of international relations have multi-nationalized, trans-nationalized, bureaucratized and trans-governmentalized the state until it has virtually ceased to exist as an analytic construct”(Krasner, 1976, pg 43). The writer seems to be not happy with the impaired concept of state in IPE. He also argues that economic growth, social stability, political power, and national income play a critical role in global trade. According to the author, influential countries including the UK and the USA have the potential to affect trade with other nations. He uses the “Theory of Hegemonic Stability” to prove his thesis. Besides, it is critical to grasp that both the domestic and international regulation of trade including tariffs influence global trade (Krasner, 1967). Governments usually increase or decrease duties to regulate the flow of goods and services. In this context, learners should not underestimate the power and influence of social stability because bad law and order conditions tend to reduce trade among nations. The location, neighborhood, and proximity also affect and impact the trade amongst states. To better understand the phenomenon, it is vital to learn state power theory (Krasner, 1967). Likewise, Krasner has shed light on liberalization theories. Another credible argument to justify the enhanced trade is trading tariff reduction. The researcher points out that at least six multilateral tariff reductions are offered since 1945 (Krasner, 1967).

Closing Thoughts: Krasner has provided a lucid review and account of the expansion in global trade and its contributory factors along with the relevant theories. The researcher has used the data to support his arguments. His approach is multidisciplinary which enhances the weight of rationality and logic applied in his contemplations of international trade. By shedding light on IPE and trade levies, the author provided the reviewers with a core comprehension of national policies and the national-international interaction. In the broader context, it is vital to learn the conceptual and practical implications of dominant and weaker trade partners, import duties, the role of institutions (executive, legislative, and bureaucratic), and strategic collaboration at the international level. Krasner’s contributions to the subject are notable, and his work has significantly helped the students.

Works Cited

Krasner, S. (1976). “State Power and the Structure of International Trade” pp. 43 and onward



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