Roads to follow: Regulating direct foreign investment

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24 Scopus citations


In the first two decades of the postwar period, with their countries recovering from the ravages of war and experiencing the loss of empire, Europeans expressed their concern about America's growing economic power in Europe, which they felt was channeled through the subsidiaries of American multinational corporations (MNCs). They feared that an unchecked influx of foreign capital would lead to the domination of domestic producers by foreign firms and would result in a reduction of domestic economic competitiveness and state autonomy.1It seemed then as if nothing short of global war could dislodge the United States from its hegemonic position. Yet the “American century” lasted only a couple of decades at most, with America's relative economic decline originating in 1962 with the Kennedy Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) negotiations and its military decline stemming from the unresolved Vietnam War.2 A quarter of a century later, the United States now faces an economic challenge comparable to the one it once posed to European firms—the challenge from Japanese competitors. Successive American governments also face choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-584
Number of pages42
JournalInternational Organization
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Law

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