Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
International trade is the exchange of goods and services across borders. However, the boundaries between trade and investment have become increasingly blurred. Many services can only be delivered across borders through a foreign commercial presence, implying foreign direct investment. An increasing share of world trade also takes place within multinational firms or through international production networks in which multinationals play a central role. The political analysis of international trade has centered on two closely related issues: (1) the determinants of free trade and protection at the national level and (2) the determinants of international cooperation on trade issues, including through multilateral organizations. The first section of this entry provides an overview of models of free trade and protection at the domestic level, focusing first on interest-based approaches and then introducing collective action problems and the role of institutions. The second section examines some of the core issues in the international ...