Chapter 1: Introduction: trade wars past and present: causes, dynamics and consequences
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This chapter provides an introduction to the causes, dynamics and consequences of trade wars in the contemporary era. It starts by outlining a few theoretical perspectives that are relevant to discussions of trade wars, including realism, neoliberal institutionalism and constructivism. The chapter then examines factors at both the international and domestic levels that may explain the onset of such high-intensity trade conflicts. The main factors highlighted include power competition, the growing discontent toward globalization, the decline of global trade governance, the rise of global value chains, domestic interests and institutions, trade deficit and exchange rate misalignment. The next part of the chapter turns to discussions of the scope, forum choice, and pattern of escalation of trade wars, the linkages between security concerns and trade wars and the aggregate and distributional effects of trade wars. The last part of the chapter presents an overview of the chapters and their main findings.