Liberalism and Economic Nationalism in International Trade Regime and Process of Economic Development

  • Oldřich Krpec
Keywords: Liberalism, state-centric realism, international trade liberalization, EU and international trade, comparative advantage, competitiveness, strategic sectors of economy, endogenous growth theory


Despite a consensus on the benefits of liberal international economic regimes, there are important differences in the perspectives of different actors. This article deals with two ideal types of perspectives on international trade liberalization. The first of them is the liberal perspective, and the second is the perspective of economic nationalism. Differences can be found in a number of aspects. We discuss the perception of comparative advantage, economic growth and its determinants, the logic of absolute or relative gains from the global economy, the causal relationship between the level of economic development and free trade, the issue of competitiveness in the global economy and the problem of existence, and the role of strategic sectors of the economy. If there exist important differences in presumptions, interests and policy preferences between actors, what are the conditions and limits for the perceived compatibility of the defined perspectives? Under which conditions will an individual actor support the progress in the liberalization of world trade and what are the most important risks? How can the past successes in building the liberal economic regimes be interpreted and what are the prospects for the future? This article also attempts to contribute to the discussion of paradigmatic perspectives in the international political economy. Therefore the text confronts the liberal perspective and economic nationalism and discusses some important aspects of these theories.

Author Biography

Oldřich Krpec