After the United Kingdom declared it would leave the European Union (brexit), its economy has begun a period of decline not seen since the global financial crisis in 2008. While the author states that the economy grew by 1.4 % throughout the year, December actually showed a .4% contraction. The author makes the argument that this slow net growth is due to people's perception of uncertainty the revolved around the brexit issue. Another argument made was that due to other factors influencing the political economy such as the US - China trade war, some British citizens feel that removing from institutions that protect free trade will have a negative impact. Some of fears laid out by Prime Minister Theresa May is that "the Bank of England has said could see the British economy shrink by 8 percent within months and house prices collapse by around a third as trade barriers like tariffs are put up on EU-U.K trade." This is due to the net trade deficit Britain had exporting significantly less than they imported. This is very applicable to our International Political Economy class on a number of levels. First off, trade theory and comparative advantage tell us that free trade will allow countries to grow. As stated above due to the uncertainty brexit creates by leaving the European Union, there is a real possibility that free trade will begin to deteriorate between the UK and EU. The brexit issue is a perfect example of the role of the state when involved in IPE. Rather than working within created institutions, Britain decided to adopt more protectionist policies through brexit itself. On the political side the argument could be made that strong lobbyists and vocal citizens are using societal pressure to influence the state's decision when it comes to free trade.
In his article for Foreign Affairs David Cohen talks about the Trump administration's policy towards sanctions. He talks about how the conditional sanctions the Trump administrations has placed on Iran and now Venezuela will be ineffective because the changes the administration is trying to coerce will essentially mean regime change for the two nations. Cohen goes on to state that these will be ultimately ineffective because the relative cost of the sanctions is lower than the cost of losing power. This means that the leaders of Iran and Venezuela are more willing to bear the pain of the sanctions than lose the regime. This goes along with the lesson we had on sanctions in a couple of ways. First we learned that sanctions are used either as a method of deterrence or coercion. This means that the sanctions inflict financial and economic pain to make the target of the sanctions take or not take an action. These sanctions are meant to cause political changes that will in essence mean a change of regime which is why they will fail. They are effective in causing pain; however, there is not enough sanctions in the world to make it worth losing power. Article link: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2019-04-29/sanctions-cant-spark-regime-change