National Policies and Domestic Politics

Debora L. Spar

in Oxford Handbook of International Business

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780199241828
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596834 | DOI:
National Policies and Domestic Politics

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Arguing that international business is essentially and incontrovertibly political, this essay describes the range of state policies that can shape and constrain the behaviour of firms. Specifically, it examines the five most important domestic policies that affect firms: trade policy (including export controls, protectionism, and strategic trade policy), foreign direct investment (FDI), capital controls, regulation, and competition policy. The first section describes how policies tend to emerge in each of these areas, what objectives they are often directed towards, and how they affect the course of international business. The second section then moves to the politics behind the policies—i.e. to an examination of how the policies that affect international business are created and by whom. A concluding section examines the emerging role of transnational groups (international institutions such as GATT and WTO, and non‐governmental organizations) in shaping and defining a country's national policies.

Keywords: international business; capital controls; competition policy; domestic policy; export controls; foreign direct investment; GATT; international institutions; national policy; non‐governmental organizations; protectionism; regulation; trade policy; WTO

Chapter.  10702 words. 

Subjects: International Economics

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