Research Handbook on Economic Diplomacy
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Research Handbook on Economic Diplomacy

Bilateral Relations in a Context of Geopolitical Change

Edited by Peter A.G. van Bergeijk and Selwyn J.V. Moons

This Handbook positions economic diplomacy as a multidisciplinary field and presents state of the art research relevant to policy makers and academia around the globe focusing on four themes: the role of economic diplomats, the impact and evaluation of economic diplomacy, politics and trade and emerging markets. It offers academic, business and policy perspectives taking stock of knowledge produced with qualitative and quantitative research on Northern America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
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Chapter 15: Soft power, sanctions and exports: checking the BS in BDS

Andrew K. Rose


The author examines the trade effect of soft power (global influence considered to be admirable by other countries) using a standard gravity model of bilateral exports, a panel of data for 1998–2013, and an annual survey conducted for the BBC by GlobeScan which asks people in up to 46 countries about whether each of up to 17 countries were perceived to have “a mainly positive or negative influence in the world”. Holding other things constant, a country’s exports are significantly higher if it is perceived by the importer to be exerting more positive global influence. This effect does not vary much across time, but does across countries. In particular, the exports of Israel and North Korea are more, and the United States and Russia are less affected by soft power. This stands in comparison to the non-effect of sanctions on trade. Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions is abbreviated to BDS in the chapter. Succinctly, even if the S in BDS is BS, the B is not.

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