Accommodating multinationals in federal political systems

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After examining how fundamental forces have influenced economic integration in these dimensions, the paper concludes with reflections on three issues of general importance to the future course of global economic integration: the importance of communication as an influence on integration; the possibility that we may see a sharp reversal in the general trend of increasing integration, as occurred in the interwar period; and the apparent end of imperialism as a mechanism of integration.Before turning to this agenda, however, it is important to emphasize a key theme that will recur in subsequent discussion: the main factors that drive the process of economic integration exert not only independent influences but also interact in important and complex ways.This trade, however, was seriously interrupted (if not completely suppressed) during various periods of hostility between the two countries when one side or the other wished to suppress trade with the enemy.

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Improvements in the technology of transportation and communication do not occur spontaneously in an economic vacuum.

The desire of people to take advantage of what they see as the benefits of closer economic integration—that is, the taste for the benefits of integration—is a key reason why it is profitable to make the innovations and investments that bring improvements in the technology of transportation and communication.

And, public policy has often played a significant role in fostering innovation and investment in transportation and communication both to pursue the benefits of closer economic integration (within as well as across political boundaries) and for other reasons, such as national defense.

Nor has it always benefited all whom it has affected.

But, despite occasional interruptions, such as following the collapse of the Roman Empire or during the interwar period in this century, the degree of economic integration among different societies around the world has generally been rising.

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