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EU Delegation and Agency in International Trade Negotiations: A Cautionary Comparison

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  • CHAD DAMRO

Abstract

The principal-agent (PA) approach is increasingly used to explain how and why the EU formulates its trade policy and engages in international trade negotiations. This article evaluates the utility of PA in trade policy through a comparative analysis of the EU's participation in two different international negotiations: the International Competition Network and World Trade Organization (2001-06). The comparison of EU institutions and activities in these two empirical cases suggests that while PA seems well suited to explain international negotiations in regulatory policies (competition), it seems less suited to explain developments in distributive policies (trade). The findings, which reveal potential problems of multiple agents and a greater likelihood of observational equivalence in trade policy, advise caution when using PA to explain the EU's behaviour in international trade negotiations. Copyright (c) 2007 The Author(s); Journal compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • Chad Damro, 2007. "EU Delegation and Agency in International Trade Negotiations: A Cautionary Comparison," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45, pages 883-903, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:45:y:2007:i::p:883-903
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    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-5965.2007.00752.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Eugénia Da Conceição, 2010. "Who Controls Whom? Dynamics of Power Delegation and Agency Losses in EU Trade Politics," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48, pages 1107-1126, September.
    2. Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt, 2009. "Delegation of Power and Agency Losses in EU Trade Politics," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 18, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).

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