Keywords: Interdependence, International Trade, Realism, Liberalism, Globalization
The debate between realists and liberals in the field of International Relations concerning the causes and effects of economic interdependence among states has led to a remarkable branch of empirical literature, but hardly any research has studied such dynamics in the period following the Cold War, which is so often defined "the age of globalization". This article is based on a quantitative analysis of the influence of international politics on commercial flows in the post-bipolar period and it performs such analysis on two datasets: the first one including all countries of the system for which data are available and the second one focused on the countries that previous similar studies have identified as great powers. The results show that the contemporary international system is marked by a high degree of complexity and by the simultaneous action of different and even contrasting logics. Liberal variables such as democracy and economic international institutions exert a remarkable effect on international trade, especially at the global level, but international security and even power politics issues are still relevant, particularly for the great powers in their reciprocal relationships.