Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

National Competitiveness in a Global Economy

David P. Rapkin and William P. Avery
ISBN: 978-1-55587-542-8
1995/285 pages/LC: 94-43543
International Political Economy Yearbook, Volume 8
"We must hope that the International Yearbook series continues to provide such a rich and varied forum as the first nine volumes have proved to be."—Christopher May, Political Geography

"Should appeal to a wide audience of political scientists and sociologists interested in trade, industrial and foreign policy, and, more generally, economic competitiveness and the spectacular rise of East Asia."—Contemporary Sociology


The general public perception that the United States has lost some substantial measure of economic competitiveness—and that this loss is already manifest in the aggregate welfare and will be even more acutely felt in the future—has brought about pronounced changes in U.S. international trade policies. Aggressive unilateralism, technonationalist investment and R&D policies, and regional free trade agreements all raise disturbing implications for the viability and stability of international economic regimes.

This volume examines the causes and consequences of changes in economic competitiveness. The authors locate the issue in the context of the debate in the late 1980s and early '90s over relative US decline, survey the various definitions and conceptual approaches to the subject, and provide theoretical perspectives on the sources of variation in competitiveness across time and differing countries. They also examine responses, mainly US but also European, to the perceived competitive challenge posed by East Asian capitalism.


David P. Rapkin and William P. Avery are professors of political science at the University of Nebraska.


  • Competitiveness: Useful Concept, Political Slogan, or Dangerous Obsession?—D.P. Rapkin & J.R. Strand.
  • Does the United States Have an International Competitiveness Problem?—S.D. Cohen.
  • Sources of Competitive Asymmetries Between the United States and Japan—I. Nakatani.
  • Ideology and Competitiveness: The Basis for U.S. and Japanese Economic Policies—S. Reich. 
  • The Pursuit of Competitiveness in East Asia: Regionalization of Production and its Consequences—M. Bernard and J. Ravenhill.
  • The Limits on Hegemonic Predation as a Response to Competitiveness Problems: The United States and Taiwan—C. Clark.
  • Fairness, Efficiency, and Opportunism in U.S. Trade and Investment Policy—R.T. Kudrle.
  • Alternative Paths to Competitiveness: U.S. Trade Policies in International Air Transport Services and Commercial Class Aircraft Manufacturing—V.L. Golich.
  • Ideas and Foreign Policy: The Emergence of Techno-Nationalism in U.S. Policies Toward Japan—M. Kohno.
  • Cooperating to Compete: The European Experiment—W. Sandholtz.