Vol. 47, No. 3-4 (Fall-Winter 2023)
State Strength, Markets, Regime Type and Bargaining with
Department of Political Science and
This study offers a fresh theoretical and analytical perspective
on the dynamics of bargaining between transnational corporations
– that is to say, multinational corporations, or MNCs – and
national governments in the less developed countries (LDCs).
Unlike the prevailing obsolescing bargaining model, this study
introduces a key analytic distinction between ‘potential
bargaining power’, and ‘projectable bargaining power’.
Accordingly, the study takes account of constraints on the
exercise of power by host governments’ institutions, by MNCs and
by their Western home governments.
The study finds four potent influencers or fundamental factors
which play decisive roles in converting the ‘potential
bargaining power’ of less developing countries into ‘projectable
bargaining capability’, moving the process to the implementation
stage. The four are: (1) state strength and institutional
capacity of the state; (2) the size and rate of growth of the
host country’s market; (3) the level of competition among MNCs
for resources provided by host country; and (4) the effects of
‘regime type’ on bargaining.
Importantly, through the
prism of bargaining dynamics, this study offers a way to think
about the level of analysis problem in international relations
theory in terms of the interplay between society, the state and
the international system.