Trade policy and governance in the European Union: a new institutional approach to the study of commercial policy-making

Mercado, S.A., 1997. Trade policy and governance in the European Union: a new institutional approach to the study of commercial policy-making. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This thesis targets the problem of understanding in the study of commercial policy-making. Drawing on a critical reading of the literature on foreign economic policy-making (FEP), this variant of trade policy analysis reflects a primary interest in the central analytical issue of "actor behaviour". This incorporates influences on policy choices, fundamental motivations, and the matter of how best to explain or to analyse foreign economic policy behaviour.

The argument draws centrally on the challenging case of European Community commercial policy-making. Successive chapters advance a theoretical approach to policy analysis rooted in the "neo-institutionalist" approach to FEP. Trade policies, and within this, multilateral, sectoral and regional dimensions of Community policy-making, are presented as the outcomes of dense networks of exogenous (politico-economic) and endogenous factors (institutional, ideo-cultural, political and bureaucratic). Whereas conventional studies focus classically on systemic, statist, or micro-political (interest based) levels of explanation, and most often on the contours of American foreign economic policy, here analytical primacy is afforded to the institutional structures and terrains within which these pressures and inputs are channelled, managed and mediated, and the essentially complex nature of their interactions.

In the detailed focus on the Community case this involves an "integrative" address of the European Union's complex governance structures (institutions, decision-making procedures and rules etc.), cognate factors, and structures of communication and bargaining between a range of public actors and organized interests. Individual chapters explore this approach in the context of EU textiles- and agricultural-trade policies in the Uruguay Round and the Europe Agreements of the early 1990s. The importance and policy authority of Community level institutions is asserted even though ultimately trade policymaking is seen in terms of a crowded political arena.

In the conclusions, evidence relating to the Community case is employed to argue how the theorization of foreign economic policy-making in the thesis helps our understanding of international economic relations more broadly and to indicate future directions for trade policy analysis arising from this work.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Mercado, S.A.
Date: 1997
ISBN: 9781369325096
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 25 Jun 2021 10:10
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 15:05

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