Revisiting Structural Power in the Global Economy: It's Multinationals, Not States

This Argument appears in vol. 75, no. 1, "Insecurities: The 75th Anniversary Issue, 1947-2022" (Fall/Winter 2022).

By Srijan Shukla

In the current debates over the future of the international liberal order, there is a missing element: multinational enterprises (MNEs). This paper looks at how any such discussion is incomplete without assessing the role played by MNEs in the global economy and argues that MNEs have emerged as the key actors in the global political economy. It does so by revisiting Susan Strange’s concept of structural power and how it explains the power and influence of MNEs visà-vis states. In doing so, the paper advances a framework of the international system as hierarchical—as opposed to anarchical—where states and firms compete for power. The paper conducts a brief literature review on hierarchies and structural power and then uses the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and its influence on global semiconductor value chains as a case study on the changing power dynamics between MNEs and states.


There is growing interest in the resilience and vulnerabilities of the liberal international order.[1] However, most system-level analyses by macroeconomic and international relations scholars tend to overlook a growing strain of literature in international political economy (IPE) that focuses on the expanding influence of multinational enterprises (MNEs). This growing strand of literature by academics studying the IPE of trade, foreign direct investment (FDI), and global production networks indicates that MNEs are not just shaped by the global economy, but they are increasingly shaping the global economy itself. In other words, MNEs have emerged as actors in the international system that define the underlying structure of the global economic system itself, changing the way states interact with one another.

Any assessment of the resilience and vulnerabilities of the prevailing global order is incomplete without understanding the role MNEs play in it. Recent discussions on the growing role of MNEs have been narrowly focused on the growing clout of tech monopolies and their run-ins with regulators.[2] For example, Ian Bremmer argues that this era can be understood as experiencing a “technopolar moment,” in which technology companies are becoming the most important global players. In fact, the power of major MNEs exists beyond just tech firms.[3]

It is time to start treating MNEs as powerful and autonomous actors in the international system, which most mainstream IPE literature still shies away from doing. Even the dominant IPE theories, which see MNEs as immensely influential, treat them as powerful actors who manage to pursue their policy preferences but do so by lobbying and politicking within the state.[4] For a more accurate picture, MNEs should be seen as distinct actors from states, whose objectives are not just narrowly limited to facilitating market access or expanding market power. Rather, they often espouse their ideologies and have particular preferences with respect to governance.

One of the key reasons why various streams of international relations theory consider only states as legitimate actors is because they conceptualize power only in “relational” terms.[5] Here, power is the ability of A to make B do something they are unlikely to do otherwise. This paper moves away from this narrow conception of power and uses Susan Strange’s idea of “structural power.”[6] Strange defines structural power as “the power to shape and determine the structures of the global political economy within which other states, their political institutions, their economic enterprises and their scientists and other professionals have to operate.”

Using this concept of structural power allows us to categorize both states and non-state actors like MNEs as important actors in the international system. However, many recent studies looking at structural power tend to focus on Strange’s overarching idea of state-centric hegemony.[7] They generally analyze how a dominant state and a rising state compete for structural power and how MNEs play into this competitive dynamic.

This paper advances a different conception of structural power inspired by Strange’s definition. Rather than focusing on state-centric hegemony, actors with structural power—including MNEs—often shape their environments according to their interests, creating embedded hierarchies. This paper presents two arguments. First, we need to treat MNEs as autonomous actors in an international hierarchy that includes both states and MNEs. Second, MNEs do not influence the international order merely by acting through states: MNEs have begun to compete with states to define the rules of the international system. In some domains, MNEs have even started to emerge as the most important actors in the global economy. Finally, to analyze these changes in the international system, this paper uses the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and its power on global semiconductor value chains as a case study.

Literature Review

Power in international relations is often defined relationally: the greater state A’s ability is to make state B do something it would not have done otherwise, the more power it has. This view is predominantly based on the idea of capabilities and resources.[8] If an actor has more capabilities than the other, it can punish its enemy by using hard power or economic exclusion.

Structural Power Redux

Strange’s concept of structural power, on the other hand, focuses on the “social process affecting outcomes,” not just the capabilities states have.[9] In her own words, “[structural power] confers the power to decide how things shall be done, the power to shape frameworks within which states relate to each other, relate to people, or relate to corporate enterprises.”[10]

Strange’s framework of structural power has four aspects: security, knowledge, production, and finance. At any point, all of these aspects influence structural power, but they do necessarily interact with each other.[11] A good example of all-encompassing structural power is the United States’ relationship with Europe after WWII. The U.S. had demonstrated its security power to its Western European allies. However, for the Marshall Plan to succeed, it also had to deploy its productive power to supply food and capital goods for European reconstruction and its financial power to facilitate credits in universally-acceptable dollars. The security, production, and financial components of American power were further compounded by a belief that the U.S. was willing to use its power to shape a more favorable world order for itself and its allies, granting the U.S. knowledge power as well.[12]

While conventional definitions of power are visible and coercive, structural power is more subtle. “What is common to all four kinds of structural power is that the possessor is able to change the range of choices open to others, without apparently putting pressure directly on them to take one decision or to make one choice rather than other,” contends Strange.[13] She borrows the idea of “unconscious power” from gender studies, where “[structural power] can be effectively exercised by ‘being there,’ without intending the creation or exploitation of privilege or the transfer of costs or risks from oneself to others.”[14]

Though states have always been in possession of traditional definitions of power, MNEs retain the stealthier structural power. Strange argued that other than security, states no longer dominate any of the aspects of structural power in the international political economy. Her peers such as Robert Keohane, Joseph Nye, Robert Gilpin, and others had, at one time, also been pointing to the increasing role of MNEs in the global economy.[15] However, these scholars still saw states as the most significant global actors. And in their frameworks, MNEs generally asserted their power by lobbying these states. Even in some of the recent literature that revisits the idea of structural power, the focus has been on great power competition.[16]

Other scholars have rebuked the state-centric perspective and adopted a view influenced by international capitalism, which sees MNEs as the fundamental actor in the global political economy.[17] But this view is also too simplistic—states like China use powerful MNEs, such as Huawei, as tools to achieve their global economic and geopolitical objectives.

MNEs in the Global Hierarchy

The academic debate has been too narrowly focused on these two competing perspectives: the state-centric and MNE-centric views. Even some recent literature, which tries to move against this binary, tends to juxtapose MNEs as state-like, thus suggesting a lingering shadow of orthodox thinking.

MNEs are not simply large corporations whose interests are limited to expanding market access and achieving market power. They often have governing ideologies, which are key to their legitimation process. Think, for instance, of the contrasting ideologies of superstar entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Ren Zhengfei. Similarly, the landscape of global governance regimes is also affected by varying preferences and power of MNCs across “issues and sectors, and from one negotiating forum to another, accounting for the uneven and fragmented nature of the resulting system.”[18]

Where this paper departs from both the state-centric and the MNEcentric transnational capitalism view is the development of a more useful global power hierarchy, in which superstar MNEs compete alongside states for influence and power.

First, a look at how past scholars have treated the notion of the international system as a hierarchy. Ayse Zarakol contends that while the Hobbesian vision of the world as an inherent state of anarchy can be traced back to several social contract theorists, it was not the dominant schema among IR scholars throughout the 20th century.[19] Seeing the world as hierarchical was instead a prominent conception, though there was a paradigm shift after Kenneth Waltz popularized the state-centric lens in his “Theory of International Politics.”[20] Since then, state-centrism has been the dominant assumption in most IR theories.[21] More recently, however, there is a growing volume of scholarship that views the international system as a hierarchy.

Broadly speaking, there are two differing conceptions of hierarchy— a narrow conception and a broad conception.[22] The narrow conception sees hierarchy as a solution to the international system’s collective action problem and is inherently the product of a bargain. David Lake posits that hierarchies are “bargains between ruler and ruled premised on the former’s provision of a social order of value sufficient to offset the loss of freedom.”[23] Zarakol adds to Lake’s assertion: “The implication is that whereas anarchy is understood as a given condition, or as deep structure, hierarchies, by contrast, are seen to be constantly subject to renegotiation as bargained orders.”[24]

In contrast, the broad conception argues that hierarchies are not created but are inherent to the system. Thus, they are embedded in the system. Hierarchy does not “just shape the behaviors of actors in world politics but rather produces both the actors (or at least their worldview) and the space of world politics in which they act,” thus also shaping their conception of roles, interests, status, and expectations.[25] One of the key insights of the broad conception is that bargained hierarchies are often conditioned and influenced by deeper intrinsic hierarchies. Of greater use here is the broad conception of hierarchy since, through observation, it is clear how structural power operates in such an inherently hierarchical system. Often, structural power is sustained by creating and maneuvering a deeper hierarchy that can last longer than the power itself may last.

In many spheres of the global economy, MNEs are beginning to assert their structural power by creating and sustaining these deeper hierarchies. Rather than states wielding the structural power, MNEs are beginning to do so. To ascertain the true nature of MNEs structural power, we need to treat them first as actors distinct from states and second as fundamentally different from each other. MNEs ultimately decide to develop and deploy their structural power in different ways, either based on their own narrow self interests or of their controlling authorities. This eventually results in a new hierarchy which gives powerful MNEs substantive longevity. Through this process, they come to define the structure of the global political economy which, in some cases, also conditions the behavior of states as well.

As opposed to both the state-centric and transnational capitalism view, a more accurate description should understand international political economy as a site of direct contestation between states and MNEs. This more dynamic view helps us capture how MNEs determine the structure of the global political economy and, subsequently, how states are now trying to push back against this paradigm.

MNEs in the Hierarchical System: Three Stages of Structural Power

The following section reviews recent IPE literature to show how, when it comes to trade, investment, and production, MNEs now possess substantial structural power. This structural power is not just limited to semiconductors or rare earths, either. Instead, MNEs—given their control over research and development (R&D), finance, FDI, and trade—have managed to dominate most sectors across the global economy. In Strange’s conception of structural power, across production, finance, and knowledge, states no longer hold a monopoly. Even in terms of security, MNEs are consistently expanding their role, as evidenced, for example, by the use of commercial satellites in intelligence gathering.[26]

The Contemporary Global Economy in Perspective

To observe the structural power of superstar MNEs in particular, one must begin by recognizing how R&D, production, and the investment regime are organized in today’s global economy.

MNEs account for a third of global output and GDP, as well as two-thirds of international trade.[27] At the same time, global exports increased from $7.4 trillion in 2000 to $21.7 trillion in 2017. Exports involving global value chains (GVCs), the cross-national networks that bring a product from ideation and development to manufacture and ultimately market, increased from $5.2 trillion to $15.7 trillion.[28] This means that in 2017, GVCs accounted for nearly 70% of global exports.[29] Most of this growth in exports, especially exports involving GVCs, are dominated by MNEs. This influence extends to R&D as well: over 70% of U.S. R&D expenditure comes from MNEs.[30] In sum, global trade is dominated by global firms that use the global economy to make and sell their products.

In this world of GVCs, the raw materials for and production of a single good is often scattered across more than two dozen countries. At this point, there is also academic consensus around the fact that in this networked landscape, most gains from trade go to a select number of MNEs, which have organized their production networks across the globe.[31] Which MNEs get to participate in these production networks is a function of firm-level heterogeneity.[32] This is to say that only the largest and most productive firms participate in export markets, and especially in GVCs.[33] Therefore, the gains from trade liberalization go disproportionately to superstar MNEs.[34]

From a political perspective, the dominance is even more pronounced. It is typically only these select large and productive firms that lobby for preferential trade agreements (PTAs) and manage to get their desired policy preferences passed into legislation domestically or negotiated internationally in bilateral or multilateral trade agreements.

Stages of Structural Power

For context, it should be noted that this kind of domination of the global political economy is not a contemporary phenomenon and has in fact been the stark reality of the global economy for over more than twenty years. Rather, the world is currently witnessing the third stage of the expansion of MNEs’ structural power, which is increasingly dictating the rules of how trade and investment policy around the world are set.

In the first stage, which began more than two decades ago, most states had already substantially reduced their tariffs. This allowed GVCs to proliferate, as the costs of globalizing production decreased. MNEs then started lobbying their host-country governments to reduce tariffs on intermediate goods. As production was spread across several countries, intermediate goods are frequently moved across borders, in and out of a country, several times. Economies of scale and regional production sharing were the key drivers of regional trade agreements, and regional trade agreements then furthered economic integration.[35] MNEs were integral to this process: as regional trade agreements proliferated, MNEs lobbied for provisions that would exclude their rival firms, while the rival firms lobbied for provisions that would guarantee their inclusion.[36] Thus, these firms had begun dictating not only how global production would take place but also how interstate economic relations would be structured.

In the second stage, MNEs advocated for and participated in FDI with the goal of relocating production networks across several states. For these MNEs, the pivotal function of PTAs was the guarantee of strong investment protection through explicit agreement language so that they could invest in foreign countries without any fear of expropriation.[37] PTAs effectively became a tool for facilitating informal property rights in foreign countries. Finally, MNEs pushed for PTAs with countries where their GVCs were already located or could be located in the future.[38] Throughout this time, a majority of global trade involved GVCs, which have been previously shown to be dominated by these superstar firms. Trade policy preferences within countries began to be structured according to participation or exclusion from GVCs: participation in or absence from GVCs had even begun to structure domestic political cleavages across countries as well.

By the third and current stage, MNEs have expanded their structural power and begun to influence the trade and investment policies of not just two countries, but the whole chain of countries along the GVC. Until now, PTAs have been more concerned with facilitating FDI inflows. However, now FDI has started to condition PTAs: the greater the amount of FDI, the more influence MNEs will have on the outcome of the PTA.[39]

Lobbying and the Political Activity of MNEs

In a recent publication with the Brookings Institution, Song Kim and Helen Milner attempt to shed light on the role of MNEs as political actors in foreign policymaking.[40] Two of their main findings are that firms exhibit an increase in lobbying spending once they go multinational and, owing to their distinct global trade and investment profiles, these MNEs in particular are likely to hold preferences very different from large yet purely domestic firms. “As international actors who benefit from access to a global market, they are likely to be more favorable to policies that foster an open world economy. Furthermore, they may be more attuned to trying to harmonize regulations across borders. Reducing all costs for global activities is key for them. Moreover, being larger and more productive than most domestic firms, they have more means to try to influence politics,” the authors conclude.

Seen together, these are remarkable findings. On the one hand, MNEs are now influencing trade policy of several countries at the same time. On the other hand, they have begun to demand and seek harmonizing of global economic standards according to their limited commercial interests.

John Ruggie provides an important overarching insight about the underlying nature of the power of MNEs in such a globalized landscape.[41] He writes, “It is critical to differentiate between the economic organization that is able to act under unity of command across its entire spheres of operations, and the separate legal entities within the multinational corporate group.” Thus, barring exceptions, law governs only limited parts of these enterprises and never the whole. “This disjuncture between economic reality and legal convention is the single most important contextual factor shaping the global institutional status of multinationals.”

Strange’s idea of structural power almost perfectly captures what’s at play here. Theoretically, it remains states that negotiate these trade agreements and investment regimes, but they are essentially complying with the rules set by MNEs. These governments are in principle supposed to represent the interests of their constituents or of their internal power centers. But given the structure of how global production takes place, governments today have never had so little power in determining the structure of the modern global political economy.

Case Study: TSMC and Profound Structural Power

Over the last few years, the global political economy has been fraught with concerns over semiconductor shortages, resilience in its supply chains due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and security dimensions in the context of great power competition. Beyond these immediate concerns, a quick glance at the organization of the global semiconductor industry provides textbook instruction in how MNEs and their structural power works.

Semiconductors at the Center of Everything

Today, it is nearly inconceivable to imagine human life, let alone the modern global economy, without semiconductors. Often referred to as chips, semiconductors nowadays feature prominently in almost everything electronic, from smartphones to dishwashers to coffee machines.[42] Electronic devices use chips ranging in design from the simple to the highly complex, the most advanced of which are deployed in both mass-market devices such as smartphones and highly-specialized electronic equipment in both the aerospace and defense industries, including platforms deploying artificial intelligence. Given the centrality of these chips to both the global economy and society more broadly, semiconductors are a compelling case study of the power of MNEs.

The global semiconductor supply chain is dominated by just a handful of firms.[43] Yet despite this, the process of developing a single semiconductor remains incredibly complicated and requires a vast, complex global value chain. Each of the firms involved in the design and manufacturing process display a sophisticated level of technical expertise. At each step of the value chain, there are only a handful of firms—and, in some cases, absolute monopolies—capable of fulfilling each highly specialized niche within the global supply chain for semiconductors.

Here, a brief ecosystem analysis of the important firms is informative.[44] The ideation and design of semiconductors involves software created by just two firms: Synopsys and Cadence Design Systems, two U.S.-based firms. The printing process for the most advanced chips, which consists of various kinds and sizes of lithography, is completed on hugely-complicated machines manufactured by only one company on earth: ASML, a Dutch multinational corporation. The chemical deposition and etching processes are carried out by three firms: Lam Research and Applied Materials, two American firms; and Tokyo Electron in Japan. The post-manufacturing testing is conducted by two firms: Teradyne, which is American, and Advantest, which is Japanese. And this entire process takes place inside a semiconductor foundry, of which there one undisputed giant: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

TSMC: A Contemporary Goliath

A staggering 50% of all globally-outsourced semiconductors are manufactured by TSMC, in an industry with a global annual revenue of over half a trillion U.S. dollars. Moreover, around 90% of all advanced semiconductors are manufactured by TSMC, making this firm critically important not only for consumer satisfaction but for the national security of governments the world over. This is not to say that there are not other prominent players in the global semiconductor manufacturing process, rather that they simply do not have the same market share or economic influence as TSMC. TSMC demonstrates how structural power operates today. Starting in the 1980s, an evolution in the manufacturing process for chips emerged: European and American firms continued to design the chips, though some of them surrendered domestic production and outsourced manufacturing to companies in Asia.[45] TSMC, formed in fact with substantial support by the Taiwanese government, used this shift to commence its rise and ultimately establish itself as an unwavering dominant force in the global production of chips.

The semiconductor manufacturing process requires two major fixed costs: R&D investment and capital equipment.[46] TSMC has been able to corner the market for global chips manufacturing by operationalizing a unique business model, in which the firm refrained from the design of chips and only undertook production. This way, the company could limit its fixed costs in R&D and focus exclusively on capital expenditure. Such specialization within the value chain allowed TSMC to become the go-to semiconductor manufacturer for many companies producing many different kinds of chips. And as TSMC manufactured more chips, the firm reaped enormous economies of scale, further increasing its advantage in the semiconductor industry.[47]

Implications for Great Power Competition

Given TSMC’s position in the semiconductor supply chains, the firm has accumulated, by the logic of Strange’s four-pronged framework, substantial structural power in the knowledge, production, and finance of manufacturing chips. Even in the realm of global security, TSMC increasingly has a role to play. First, as cross-strait relations between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China continue to deteriorate, Taiwan’s leadership has argued that one of its key defenses against Beijing is the presence of the “silicon shield,” a reference to one of the key ingredients in the manufacture of semiconductors.[48] China relies on TSMC for 70% of its supply of microchips, a source that would be at serious risk of destruction in the event of attack or even invasion.[49] Therefore, the firm is increasingly taking on a security dimension in one of the world’s most significant geopolitical conflicts.

Given the importance of chips, not just for China but within the global political economy as a whole, the semiconductor industry has also been inevitably dragged into the U.S.-China trade war.[50] The geopolitical posturing around TSMC’s operations, and the recent American push towards reshoring of semiconductor supply chains by the Biden administration, has generated concerns for the long-term viability of the manufacturer’s business interests and market dominance. However, as expected, TSMC has continued to invest substantial fund in lobbying the U.S. Congress to safeguard its interests. In 2021, TSMC spent over $2.3 million in this endeavor.[51] For comparison, in the same period, other U.S. semiconductor firms, Intel and Micron Technology, spent around $4.1 million and $1.9 million, respectively.[52] Despite being a foreign company, TSMC’s political lobbying expenditure is quite similar to its those of its U.S. counterparts. Moreover, TSMC’s spending on lobbying activities rose by over 20% from 2020 to 2021, highlighting that fears of reshoring are being taken seriously by the firm, which in turn is ramping up domestic lobbying in the U.S. to compensate. To further safeguard its position in the global supply chain and shield against any adverse effects of reshoring or “friendshoring” efforts by the West, TSMC is also spending around $40 billion in Arizona to expand its chip production capacity in the U.S.[53]

Structural Power and the Case of TSMC

As the global paradigm around reshoring appears to be shifting, TSMC is making the requisite investments to ensure that the future regulatory landscape around production reflects its core business interests. This further shows how a firm that first grew to prominence in the expansion of FDI-led production over three decades ago is now using FDI and trade to protect its own interest while global sentiments on offshoring have shifted. A company that rose to dominance to an older paradigm is now using its accumulated power to shape the future. This is in line with a large part of the literature described above on how MNEs can now be seen as foreign policy actors in their own right.

In light of these developments, it is easy to understand why major powers like the U.S. would want to diversify their supply chains. This is precisely the logic behind the recent CHIPS Act, which, among other things, directs $52 billion to U.S. domestic semiconductor R&D. For context, this figure is still dwarfed by private spending: TSMC alone plans to spend $40 billion over the next year to expand its production, rivaling the U.S. and other powers in the kind of structural power present within this global industry and in the context of a hierarchical system of states and MNEs.

Conclusion: The Backlash

Populist backlashes around the world over the last decade can be viewed as an attempt by the people to wrest back some of the structural power for the state. The growing clamor for deglobalization among anti-globalist policy entrepreneurs and their constituents is essentially an attack on the kind of structural power enjoyed by MNEs. The rapidly growing distance between the world view of these MNEs and populist leaders provides us with a setting to capture how a global power hierarchy works. This is because MNEs no longer just reveal and pursue their preferences within states, but now go out and seek them transnationally. Populists are now trying to exert their power domestically, which, in the process of regaining political power “for the people” at the expense of offshoring, tax-evading MNEs, inadvertently demonstrates that it is still a world led by states and not firms. Whether these populist backlashes will succeed at actually wresting some of that power back remains to be seen, yet this is dynamic is likely to be one of the quintessential stories of the global political economy in the coming decades.

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[2] Javier Espinoza, “How Big Tech lost the antitrust battle in Europe,” Financial Times, March 24, 2022,

[3] Ian Bremmer, “The Technopolar Moment,” Foreign Affairs, November 16, 2021.

[4] Gene M. Grossman and Elhanan Helpman, “Protection for Sale,” The American Economic Review 1994; Leonardo Baccini, Mattia Guidi, Arlo Poletti, and Aydin B. Yildirim, “Trade Liberalization and Labor Market Institutions,” International Organization 76, no. 1 (2021): 70–104. s0020818321000138.

[5] Susan Strange, States and Markets (Brantford, Ontario: W. Ross MacDonald School Resource Services Library, 2016).

[6] Strange, States and Markets.

[7] Anton Malkin, “The Made in China Challenge to US Structural Power: Industrial Policy, Intellectual Property and Multinational Corporations,” Review of International Political Economy 29, no. 2 (2022): 538-570.

[8] Susan Strange, The Retreat of the State: The Diffusion of Power in the World Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

[9] Strange, The Retreat of the State.

[10] Strange, States and Markets.

[11] Strange, States and Markets.

[12] Strange, States and Markets.

[13] Strange, States and Markets.

[14] Strange, The Retreat of the State.

[15] Transnational Relations and World Politics: An introduction, Transnational Relations and World Politics, 1972, ix-xxxii,; Robert Gilpin and Jean M. Gilpin, The Political Economy of International Relations (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987).

[16] Malkin, “The Made in China Challenge to US Structural Power.”

[17] Milan Babic, Jan Fichtner, and Eelke M. Heemskerk, “States Versus Corporations: Rethinking the Power of Business in International Politics,” The International Spectator 52, no. 4 (2017): 20–43. https://

[18] David L. Levy and Aseem Prakash, “Bargains Old and New: Multinational Corporations in Global Governance,” in International Environmental Governance (Oxforshire, England: Routledge, 2017), 297– 314.

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[20] Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics (New York: McGraw Hill, 1979).

[21] Zarakol “Why Hierarchy?”.

[22] Ayşe Zarakol, “Theorizing Hierarchies: An Introduction,” in Hierarchies in World Politics (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017).

[23] David A. Lake, “Escape from the State of Nature: Authority and Hierarchy in World Politics,” International Security 32 (2007): 47-79,

[24] Zarakol, “Theorizing Hierarchies: An Introduction.”

[25] Zarakol, “Theorizing Hierarchies: An Introduction.”

[26] Erik Lin-Greenberg and Theo Milonopoulos, “Private Eyes in the Sky,” Foreign Affairs, October 1, 2021,

[27] “Multinational Enterprises in the Global Economy,” VOX EU, CEPR Policy Portal, accessed May 18, 2022,

[28] Sabyasachi Mitra, “Drivers and Benefits of Enhancing Participation in Global Value Chains: Lessons for India,” ADB South Asia Working Paper Series no. 79, December 2020. wps200430-2.

[29] Mitra, “Drivers and Benefits of Enhancing Participation in Global Value Chains.”

[30] C. Fritz Foley, James R. Hines, and David Wessel, “Chapter 1,” in Global Goliaths: Multinational Corporations in the 21st Century Economy (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2021).

[31] Leonardo Baccini, “The Economics and Politics of Preferential Trade Agreements,” in The Oxford Handbook of International Political Economy, ed. Jon Pevehouse and Leonard Seabrooke, (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2019), -may-2021.

[32] Marc J. Melitz, “The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity,” Econometrica 71, no. 6 (Nov. 2003): 1695-1725; Baccini, “The Economics and Politics of Preferential Trade Agreements.”

[33] M. Plouffe, “Liberalization for Sale: Heterogeneous Firms and Lobbying Over FTAs,” revision of paper prepared for 2012 APSA Annual Meeting, 2017.

[34] Baccini, “The Economics and Politics of Preferential Trade Agreements.”

[35] Kerry A. Chase, “Economic Interests and Regional Trading Arrangements: The Case of NAFTA,” International Organization 57, no. 1 (Winter, 2003): 137-174.

[36] M. Manger, “Framework for Analysis,” in Investing in Protection: The Politics of Preferential Trading Agreements between North and South (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

[37] In Song Kim, Helen V Milner, Thomas Bernauer, Iain Osgood, Gabriele Spilker, and Dustin Tingley, “Firms and Global Value Chains: Identifying Firms’ Multidimensional Trade Preferences,” International Studies Quarterly 63, no. 1 (2019): 153–67.

[38] Zeng Ka and Li Xiaojun, Fragmenting Globalization: The Politics of Preferential Trade Liberalization in China and the United States (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2021).

[39] In Song Kim, Steven, Liao, and Sayumi, Miyano, “Why Trade and FDI Should be Studied Together,” (Forthcoming),

[40] In Song Kim and Helen V. Milner, “Multinational Corporations and their Influence Through Lobbying on Foreign Policy,” in Global Goliaths: Multinational Corporations in a Changing Global Economy (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2017), 497-536.

[41] John Ruggie, “Multinationals as Global Institution: Power, Authority and Relative Autonomy,” Regulation & Governance 12, no. 3 (2017): 317–33,

[42] The Hub Staff, “Why are chips so important, anyway? Professor Chris Miller on the fight for the world’s most critical technology,” The Hub, November 2022.

[43] Chris Miller, Chip War: the Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology (New York: Simon & Schuster, Ltd., 2022).

[44] “Semiconductors 101 - Motley Fool Money,” The Motley Fool, accessed November 22, 2022, https://

[45] Chad P. Bown, “How the United States marched the semiconductor industry into its trade war with China,” Peterson Institute for International Economics, December 2020.

[46] Bown, “How the United States marched the semiconductor industry into its trade war with China.”

[47] The Hub Staff, “Why are chips so important, anyway?”.

[48] Richard Cronin, “Semiconductors and Taiwan’s “Silicon Shield,’” Stimson Centre, August 16, 2022.

[49] Cronin, “Semiconductors and Taiwan’s ‘Silicon Shield.’”

[50] Bown, “How the United States marched the semiconductor industry into its trade war with China.”

[51] Open Secrets, “Client Profile: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company,”

[52] Open Secrets, “Industry Profile: Electronics Mfg & Equip,”

[53] Cheng Ting-Fang, “TSMC to triple U.S. chip investment to $40bn to serve Apple, others,” Nikkei Asia, December 6, 2022, chip-investment-to-40bn-to-serve-Apple-others.