Competition policy represents a field of economic policy within which attempts to create deeper, substantive forms of international cooperation have not been very successful, despite the need for such cooperation in the context of global economic integration. By looking specifically at the experiences of the United States and the European Union, the thesis aims to explain why achieving cooperation in this area has been so difficult

In order to meet this task, the thesis focuses on what are broadly reffered as "ideas" in international relations and IPE literature. It introduces a new, computer-based methodology for extracting political-economic ideas from free-flowing text, and measuring the prevalence of speciific ideas across texts. The methodology presents an attempt to overcome some of the problems characterizing this type of reseach, and to offer a more systematic and rigorous way of analyzing the role of ideas in foreign economic policy