Reexamining the "obsolescing bargain": a study of Canada's National Energy Program

Jenkins, Barbara
January 1986
International Organization;Winter86, Vol. 40 Issue 1, p139
Academic Journal
This article deals with a study which investigated the obsolescing bargain and the National Energy Program of the Canadian government. This emphasis on state power is increasingly prominent in the literature on the relationship between states, or host governments, and multinational corporations (MNCs). The balance of power in international economic relations, it is argued, is now changing as a result of a series of structural alterations in the world political economy. The U.S. is no longer the hegemonic power it was, and hence it can no longer dominate the international economic scene. Its corporations must now compete with rivals from Europe, Japan, and numerous developing countries as well. This growing competition has meant that MNCs can no longer extract the lucrative arrangements they once expected from host governments, for rivals will always be prepared to undercut their bid. At the same time, states have acted to increase their technological prowess. Such changes in the balance of power between MNCs and host governments introduced the need for new explanations to account for contemporary bargaining relations. The ideas of the early dependency theorists clearly seemed inappropriate.


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