This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses on two central actors in international politics: multinational corporations and the US state. The relationship among US-based multinational corporations, the US state, and domestic US business firms is important for the development of the business conflict model. The book argues that US policies cannot be explained adequately by anticommunism. Instead, business groups were often able to influence the adoption of policies designed to counter the Soviet threat, and they are likely to remain influential in the post-cold war period. Anticommunism may have provided the overriding rationale for US policy during the cold war. In a study of business interests and the Vietnam War, Erik Devereux argues that business firms took opposing positions on the war based mainly on how the war was affecting their sectoral economic interests.