6 Dec 2018
Seminars, 12:30 - 13:30, Silva Casa Auditorium, World Trade Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, Bern

Brown Bag Seminar on Trade as a Foreign Policy Issue: A Bilateral Micro Perspective

Brown Bag Seminar by Tanja Schweinberger (Université de Genève), who presented on her paper, written jointly with Thomas Sattler.


In an international system where cooperation appears increasingly at risk, a central question is to what extent citizens constrain governments by supporting the norms of the liberal international order. We, therefore, examine how much the mass publics in the U.S., Australia and Germany value reciprocity as a key cooperative principle in international trading relations. This analysis requires that we use a bilateral perspective departing from the common approach to examine trade preferences unilaterally without consideration of the behaviour and characteristics of the trading partner. Our survey experiments show that reciprocity continues to play an important role. However, a significant share of unconditional, non-cooperative attitudes exists, especially towards countries that are perceived as adversaries. Variation in these responses are best explained by perceptions of the other country as political adversary as concerns for relative gains become eminent. Trade and foreign policy issues are particularly intertwined when facing a political adversary. To the extent that the growing anti-globalization sentiment is rooted in these international political considerations, the threat to trade cooperation is more fundamental than often assumed.

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