chapter  2
29 Pages


In the search for answers to the questions posed at the outset of this study, namely who prevails in OECD trade negotiations and what impact do OECD trade agreements have on state behaviour, I turn first of all to some of the more or less established theories of international relations. The analysis begins by presenting a series of propositions inferred from these general theoretical frameworks. While it may be argued that these frameworks were not intended to be used to explain specific events or situations, but rather aim at uncovering certain regularities or tendencies in international relations, it can nonetheless be instructive to apply these theories to particular cases. In operationalising some of the apparent or explicit assumptions of these theoretical formulations we can put to the test a few of the connections between variables that are contained in those assumptions. Also, as has been pointed out elsewhere, it may be as important to be able to explain exceptions to trends as it is to explain the trends themselves. 1 If the cases presented here do not confirm the expectations of various theories, perhaps they can indicate the limits of each theory and suggest the conditions under which the outcomes they predict will materialise.