Technology competition and international co-operation: Friends or foes?

Sung Eun Kim, Johannes Urpelainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Is technology competition between commercial rivals an impediment to international co-operation? Or could it instead help states collaborate? Our game-theoretic model suggests that technology competition impedes international co-operation when states hold 'techno-nationalist' preferences but have starkly asymmetric abilities to capture new markets. States that expect to lose refuse to co-operate, so treaty formation fails. However, technology competition may also facilitate co-operation. While states invest in new technologies out of self-interest, doing so also reduces consumer prices for other states. Comparative case studies of environmental co-operation demonstrate the model's utility. For example, European co-operation on climate policy was easier to achieve because forerunner countries, such as Denmark and Germany, implemented industrial policies that enhanced the competitiveness of their renewable energy industries. This technology competition reduced the cost of renewable energy for other European countries, and thus lowered the economic costs of their emissions reductions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-574
Number of pages30
JournalBritish Journal of Political Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Technology competition and international co-operation: Friends or foes?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this