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Large emerging democracies and the international economic order: Compliance and assertiveness in the World Trade Organization (1995-2012)

Abstract

This research project seeks to analyze the impact of the American and European bilateral strategies, with respect to international trade, on four emerging democracies and their behavior in the World Trade Organization (Brazil, India, South Africa, and Turkey). Bilateralism, and the resulting fragmentation of International Economic Law, are the consequence of the multiplication of preferential trade agreements as well as of the recent move toward mega regional blocks. These phenomena weaken the multilateral trade regime and challenge its relevance as a negotiating arena. This research project departs from the assumption that these four emerging democracies favor the WTO, as a multilateral arena, and act strategically to strengthen the institution. This behavior is observable in the way these countries function in the Dispute Settlement Mechanism, as well as through their actions within the WTO committees that deal with non-tariff barriers to trade: the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade. The project expects to find an association between the move towards bilateral strategies, on the part of the U.S. and the E.U., and increased levels of compliance and assertiveness by the four emerging democracies. Hypotheses derived from these expectations will be tested, for the period 1995-2012. (AU)

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