Katja Kleinberg and Benjamin Fordham, two UNC Ph.D.'s and currently Assistant Professor of Political Science and Professor of Political Science respectively, at Binghamton University-SUNY have a new paper "Trade and Foreign Policy Attitudes" in the most recent issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution.
Does trade influence whether individuals view other states as friendly or threatening? Liberal theory implies that it should, but the individual-level implications of the liberal argument are rarely tested. Trade should influence individual attitudes more strongly where trade is more economically important. International trade also creates both winners and losers within the trading states, and the foreign policy attitudes of these winners and losers should differ. The authors test hypotheses drawn from this line of argument using a forty-seven-country survey conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes project. They find some evidence that exports but not imports reduce hostile foreign policy attitudes. They find little support for the claim that the trade interests indicated by factor ownership influence attitudes toward trading partners in this broad cross-national sample. On the other hand, attitudes toward trade and foreign direct investment are correlated with broader foreign policy attitudes in the way liberal theory suggests. The authors conclude that there is reason to believe that trade influences individual foreign policy attitudes but that factor ownership does not provide an adequate account of individual interests in international trade in most cases.As Tyler Cowen says, the paper is self-recommending.