I strongly believe that politics is a competition between interest groups. The problem for political scientists is identifying which interests are most salient. Steven Landsburg sums up in a sentence:
If you’re a gay Jewish small business owner, to which brand of parochialism are you now in thrall? Please advise.
Is it possible to develop accurate models of mass trade politics when trade is just not a salient issue for most voters? How about exchange rates, or capital account openness? Is it better in some cases to eschew models of mass politics in favor of models of elite competition? If so, when? These are questions that I wish IPE would spend more time thinking about.