Dyadic myth and monadic advantage: Conceptualizing the effect of democratic constraints on trade

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Abstract

How do democratic institutions influence international trade policy? This article highlights conceptual challenges confronting the study of democracy and trade. Using a game theoretic model, I aim to spell out the precise effect of democratic legislative constraints on trade. In contrast to the dyadic argument that legislative constraints enable democracies to better cooperate with each other to liberalize trade, I argue that effective legislative constraints give a democracy a monadic bargaining advantage in international trade negotiations. This advantage is associated with a lower level of trade barriers abroad and a higher level of trade barriers at home. Thus, rather than dyadically cooperative, a democracy may be monadically competitive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-297
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Theoretical Politics
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006

Keywords

  • Democratic advantage
  • International trade
  • Legislative constraints
  • Two-level game

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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