Trade, power and APEC: Hirschman revisited

Davis B. Bobrow, Simon Reich, Steve Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper is about the relationship between foreign trade and national power in the contemporary Asia Pacific. Imports and exports among the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Community) members are studied over time in order to assess the extent to which this trade has evolved in ways which ceteris paribus provide the larger trading states with more or less leverage to influence the smaller ones. We offer a conceptual discussion of conditions that are likely to shape the incentives to actually use such leverage and, if actually exercised, the prospects that such attempts may succeed. A pattern analysis of trade in the Asia Pacific then follows from which we conclude that the smaller non-Latin American APEC countries have diversified their trading partners recently and thus reduced their exposure to leverage based on asymmetric dependence in their trade relations. At the same time, we expect from our conceptual discussion that the larger APEC countries are generally more likely to exercise self restraint than to use trade to extract gains on other issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-223
Number of pages37
JournalInternational Interactions
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations


  • APEC
  • Hirschman
  • Power
  • Trade

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