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The politics of policy reversal: the US response to granting trade preferences to developing countries and linkages between international organizations and national policy making


  • Meltzer, Ronald I.


Analysis of the United States’ shift to support of trade preferences for developing countries in 1967 provides evidence for the value of a “bureaucratic politics” model that pays attention to the importance of transgovernmental relations in influencing national policy making. Between 1964 and 1967, international organizations affected, United States policy making on trade preferences, and officials within the US government who favored preferences used such organizations-particularly the OECD-to help change American policy. Intergovernmental, transgovernmental, and national levels of policy making were closely linked to one another. This case study suggests the need for a broadened conception of “bureaucratic politics”; but it also supports the view that the “bureaucratic politics” and “rational actor” approaches are fundamentally complementary rather than antithetical.

Suggested Citation

  • Meltzer, Ronald I., 1976. "The politics of policy reversal: the US response to granting trade preferences to developing countries and linkages between international organizations and national policy making," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(04), pages 649-668, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:30:y:1976:i:04:p:649-668_01

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    Cited by:

    1. Clifton, Judith & Díaz-Fuentes, Daniel, 2011. "La Nueva Política Económica de la OCDE ante el cambio en la Economía Mundial
      [The New Political Economy of the OECD in a context of Shifting World Wealth]
      ," MPRA Paper 33010, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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