Global Cooperation or Rival Trade Blocs?

  • Gerd Junne University of Amsterdam


This paper examines the question of whether the world will continue to move toward a liberal, multi-lateral world trade system or whether it will fall apart into rival trade blocs. It starts with a short comparison of different scenarios for the development of the world economy. It then tries to illustrate the importance of developments inside the major trade blocs for the relationships between these blocs, taking as an examples (a) the impact of Gernam reunification, (b) the impact of a possible break-up of China, and (c) the impact of domestic polarization within the United States. It then discusses how different research avenues give rise to different expectations with regard to cooperation versus rivalry. For instance, from a long waves perspective increasing rivalry can be expected. However, an analysis of strategic alliances points in the direction of more cooperation and collective management of international economic relations. And finally, analyses that give more attention to the internal restructuring of companies lead to the hypothesis that new societal demands for a more active state will be articulated, implying more frictions at the international level. An analysis in terms of "concepts of control" points in the same direction. The tenative conclusion of this paper, meanwhile, is that "managed rivalry" will characterize future relations between the main trading blocs.
How to Cite
Junne, G. (1995). Global Cooperation or Rival Trade Blocs? . Journal of World-Systems Research, 1(1), 327-347.
Hegemonic Rivalry: Past and Future