Special Issue Co-Editors:

Shiping Hua, University of Louisville, shiping.hua@louisville.edu
Ka Zeng, University of Arkansas, kzeng@uark.edu

 The United States and China have been embroiled in what Beijing called the “biggest trade war in economic history” since early 2018, when Washington imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese products to challenge perceived unfair Chinese practices, prompting Beijing to retaliate with its on tariffs on U.S. exports to China. The trade war was not an independent event, but part of a broader effort initiated by the Trump administration to confront serious challenges from China in not only the economic, but also political and security realms.

The trade war has had a tremendous impact on global economic activities and geopolitical relations. Although the two sides reached a partial truce in January 2000 with the signing of the “phase one” trade agreement, the conflict is far from over.  The enormous political and economic differences between the two countries have impacted and will likely continue to impact how the trade war will play out in the future. This special issue explores the politics of the U.S.-China trade war, focusing in particular on how interest groups and political institutions and processes have shaped the dynamics of the trade conflict.

 The questions that this special issue will examine include, but are not limited to the following: How did domestic political institutions (such as electoral politics, the executive, and the legislature) and public opinion influence the trajectory of the trade war?  How did firms in both the United States and China react to the trade war? As President Xi Jinping has demonstrated a different governance style compared to his predecessors and embraced the so-called “big power diplomacy,” what kind of impact have such domestic changes had on China’s approach toward the trade conflict? To what extent did changes in the global environment, as seen in the increasing de-globalization and the decline of democratic governance, affect the way the trade war unfolded between the two largest economies in the world? And how has the trade war in turn affected national, regional, and global economies, supply chains, and global political and economic orders?

 We welcome papers that address these questions from a range of disciplinary perspectives. While we attach no priority to the methodological approach adopted, we are most interested in papers that have the potential to develop strong theoretical and/or empirical insights that can contribute to our understanding of the complex domestic and international political forces underlying this large-scale economic warfare in modern history.

 Submission Guidelines:

1. Word limit: 8,000-12,000 words

2. Paper Submission Deadline: November 30, 2021.

3. Authors should follow the journal’s style guidelines, which can be found on its website and submissions should be sent via the journal’s ScholarOne site here

4. Although we prefer the submission of papers that are either completed or near completion, proposals at any stage are welcome