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Extra info for America's Trade Policy Towards Japan: Demanding Results (Routledge Advances in International Political Economy, 11)

Sample text

Lake concludes that the United States was necessarily coercive because in his theory not all states gain from free trade. The hegemon must change the policies of others to satisfy its own goals. But identification of the instruments of power and how the hegemon alters others’ behaviour – in other words, policy – is deemed merely a ‘second-order question’. It may take the form of ‘negative sanctions (threats), positive sanctions (rewards), the restructuring of market incentives, ideological leadership, or simply success worthy of emulation’ (Lake 1993: 469).

Ideas are interesting at the stage of preference formation because of the difficulties in identifying structurally determined interests and because they help to give content to ‘objective’ interests. Rationalist, interest-based models of actor behaviour must still identify a set of parameters (goals, means, perceived causal relationships and performance indicators) which constitute a belief system (Sabatier 1987: 663). There is also a strong case for analysing groups formed around shared beliefs on operational grounds.

While the regime structures domestic trade politics, actors constantly seek to control or reformulate the rules of the game, to claim the authority and resources of institutions, and to persuade centres of policy making of the merits of their ideas and policies. Tracing the political contest between domestic advocacy coalitions allows for a more detailed analysis of change in US market access policy towards Japan. Change in US trade policy is understood as a product of political-economic circumstance and the choices of actors in a policy community (Heclo 1974).

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