Research Question of the Article: The author, Robert O. Keohane seeks to outline the major concepts, structures, theories, and empirical work that experts of International Political Economy (IPE) have developed in the last few decades and which political researchers and scientists have agreed, form the fundamental analysis of IPE. In identifying the major concepts, theories, and empirical work that form the basic understanding of IPE, the author states the importance of understanding the power of governments and international structures. Within the global and domestic interaction and regulations, research lies in the future of IPE erudition (Keohane, 1997). The author raises questions on the mechanics of the article written by Stephen Krasner and tries to answer some queries in this regards. According to him, there are gaps in the referred article although it seems lucid for new learners of the IPE.
Main Arguments and Theories: This article’s central argument is the importance of the collaboration of the international and domestic structures when affected by the economic policies and trade (Keohane, 1997). The author criticizes the confined modern concept of the state. “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”(Keohane, 1997, pg 151-152). The author also argues that there are four state interests at least that are affected by the international trade. They are “political power, aggregate national income, economic growth, and social stability” (Keohane, 1997). According to the researcher, the dominant nations including the USA and the UK have the power to influence the weaker nations in the global exchange of goods and services. However, it is vital to comprehend both the domestic and international regulation of the flow of goods and services between states (Keohane, 1997). Social stability should not be ignored in global trade because peace and prosperity are necessary to promote trade amongst nations. The geographical location and proximity also affect and impact the international exchange of goods and services. To better understand international trade, it is beneficial to learn “State Power Theory” (Keohane, 1997). Similarly, the author has discussed liberalization theories. Another valuable argument is “Trade Tariff Reduction” to explain the increase in international trade. The researcher points out that at least six multilateral tariff reductions are offered since 1945 (Keohane, 1997, pg. 153).
Closing Thoughts: The author outlined the empirical and theoretical concepts available and used by scholars in the field of IPE. The researcher explained the major theories and agreements that have become cornerstones of international trade. By listing IPE scholarship developments, the author provided the readers with a basic understanding of global trade and tariffs and the domestic-international interaction. The domestic-international interaction must be understood while studying the international exchange of goods and services because it is within this interaction that not only most of the theoretical and empirical work on trade literature has developed, but it is within this interaction that much other analysis can be identified, such as import duties, dominant and weaker trade partners, the role of institutions (executive, legislative, and bureaucratic), and the strategic interaction at the global level. The role of trade tariffs is important because duties influences and shapes states’ international trade (Keohane, 1997). Despite extensive literature of theoretical and empirical framework, the writer points out that much more attention should be focused on international trade and its allied factors. These influence states’ ability to import and export goods and services (Keohane, 1997). In the closing lines of the paper, the author reiterates the importance of hegemony theory in international trade (Keohane, 1997, pg. 170).
Keohane, Robert O. 1997. Stephen Krasner’s “State Power and the Structure of International Trade” In Problematic Lucidity, Vol. 50, No. 1, Fiftieth Anniversary Special Issue (Oct., 1997), pp. 150-170