- Parochial Global Europe: Explaining European Union Trade Politics
- Causes of Compliance: The EU and the WTO
- The European Union in Global Technology Governance
- The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Negotiations as 21st Century Trade Politics
- In Search of a Transatlantic Agora: The EU-US Values Debate and the Quest for Global Leadership
- Reporting at the Southern Borders: Journalism and Public Debates on Immigration in the U.S. and the E.U
Alasdair Young with John Peterson (University of Edinburgh)
Despite the recent focus on the rises of Brazil, India and China, the EU remains by some distance the world’s largest market and trader. The Union is both an economic hegemon in Europe and far beyond. It is a prime driver of globalization and remains in a far more powerful position, for a rich variety of reasons, to determine how globalization is governed than any of the rapidly emerging economies. Europe is widely thought to be in a state of economic decline, primarily because of the protracted sovereign debt crises in the eurozone. But Europe is going nowhere, for the foreseeable future, as a trading power. And although much has been written about EU trade policies, we know surprisingly little about how its trade policy is actually made.
In this forthcoming volume, Alasdair Young (Georgia Tech) and John Peterson (University of Edinburgh) argue that EU trade policy (and trade policy more generally) is in fact composed of multiple, distinct policies. This observation, while seemingly obvious, is often overlooked and has significant analytical implications. In common with the ‘open economy politics’ approach, we focus on the constellation of societal actors’ preferences and the pattern of political institutions, as well as the focus of the autonomous preferences of governmental actors. Our approach differs in that we stress that these factors are influenced by the character of the trade policy and/or the balance of economic power with the trade partner(s) in question. In addition, we contend that the different political dynamics to which these elements give rise constitute distinct trade policy sub-systems. Different sub-systems produce policy outcomes that can (and often do) clash.
Our approach thus helps to explain the apparent contradictions and tensions in EU trade policy; liberal in some respects, protectionist in others. Problems of policy coherence are particularly pronounced when the EU seeks to use trade policy as a tool of its broader foreign policy, usually because the political dynamics of any specific trade instrument’s sub-system deflects or distorts any overarching political intent. Hence, our book’s title: the EU’s preoccupation with its own internal politics and policy has hampered its efforts to play a global role.
An excerpt of the book is available for review.
Funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council, RES-062-23-1369 (2009-2011)
International cooperation is becoming increasingly institutionalization. The extent to which this development implies a transfer of political authority depends on how assiduously governments conform to international rules that conflict with domestic preferences. Empirical evaluation of the impact of international rules on domestic policies has, however, been limited. This project, which was funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council, considers the impact of the World Trade Organization – one of the world’s most highly institutionalized international organizations – on the European Union. It finds that WTO rules and rulings have a marked impact on the EU policy process, but that this impact is extensively mediated by domestic political actors. In addition, this project found that actors’ interpretations of the implications of adverse WTO rulings overwhelmingly reflect their preferences regarding the challenged policy. Those that opposed the existing policy were more likely to invoke the WTO ruling as requiring radical change, while those that supported the policy tended to argue that marginal changes would be sufficient to achieve compliance. Because of the important mediating role of domestic actors, the impact of WTO obligations on EU policy varies considerably across policies. Policy changes have been most pronounced where WTO obligations reinforced an on-going policy change or destabilized an already fragile political balance. Where there was concerted opposition to policy change, WTO obligations had a negligible impact. That the implications of WTO obligations are highly contested in the EU policy process and have varied impacts on policies suggests that there has not been a transfer of political authority to the WTO. The findings are currently being written up, but you can access the end of award report.
Funded by the European Commission. Jean Monnet Chair 20012-3121 (2012-2015)
In response to the proliferation of regulations by a growing number of states, the European Commission has prioritized addressing regulatory barriers in bilateral trade negotiations and advocated regulatory convergence at the multilateral level in two recent communications. The political dynamics of global regulation, however, are only just beginning to be analyzed, and the EU’s pivotal role in this process is poorly understood. This three-year project (2012-15), which is supported by the European Commission’s Jean Monnet Action, aims to generate and disseminate knowledge about the EU’s influence in the global governance of technology.
More specifically, this project has three main aims. First, it expands and develops the provision of teaching on the European Union at Georgia Tech by facilitating the addition of two new courses: ‘The Global Politics of Technology Regulation’ and ‘Transatlantic Relations.’ The EU figures prominently in both courses as an important regulator in its own right, a critical player in international regulatory cooperation and as a potential model for overcoming regulatory differences. The project also supports the existing course ‘International Political Economy,’ in which the EU figures prominently as both an example of international political economy and an actor seeking to shape the international economy. The course also addresses global regulatory governance, but in an introductory fashion. A specific aim of all three courses is to engage students from engineering, management and the sciences. Second, the project supports a new research agenda on the role of the EU in the global governance of technology. It does so by facilitating the review of the literature associated with establishing the new course on ‘The Global Politics of Technology Regulation’ and by bringing leading experts to Georgia Tech for a workshop. Third, the project facilitates engagement with local civil society on issues associated with the EU’s regulation of technology and role in the global governance of technology. Civil society members would be invited to a series of six public lectures and to the workshop. Thus, the project would seek to achieve its aims through three distinct, but mutually reinforcing strands of activity: teaching, research and outreach.
An international workshop on the EU as a global regulator was held at Georgia Tech on 18-19 April 2014. The papers from the workshop have been accepted for publication, pending review, in a special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiation between the European Union and the Unites States is the first major trade negotiation to seek seriously to overcome regulatory differences. In addition, the transatlantic economy is uniquely interpenetrated. As a consequence, T-TIP is an early manifestation of 21st century trade politics characterized by very different patterns of interest group mobilization and different policy actors than traditional trade policies. Due to the high degree of interpenetration, trade occurs within firms more than between economies. As a result, American and European business associations have formed transatlantic alliances to advocate liberalization. The challenge of addressing non-tariff barriers, however, has brought consumer and environmental groups and domestic regulators, as well as legislatures and US states and EU member states more fully into the trade policy process that has been the case. This project aims draw early lessons from the new pattern of trade policy would have significant policy and scholarly impact.
Thus far the outputs from this project include public talks to the Atlanta Council on International Relations (February 20 2014); France-Atlanta at the Academy of International Business Southeast USA Chapter (October 25, 2013); the International Club of Atlanta (May 13, 2014); and the World Affairs Council of Atlanta (November 6, 2013); and invited academic papers to the International and Area Studies Symposium: Lessons from Europe, University of Oklahoma (3 April 2014); the Workshop on European Regulation: Comparative and International Perspectives,’ University of California, Berkeley ( April 23-25, 2014); and the Caplin Conference on the World Economy, University of Edinburgh (May 2, 2014);
This book project examines what some commentators have described as a "growing chasm" between Europe and the United States and their respective approaches to global challenges. Unlike much of the previous scholarship which relies predominantly on elite discourse, my study provides a comprehensive assessment of the purported values gap by a providing a systematic, empirical analysis of public attitudes and values in the United States and Europe evaluating both elite and mass opinion as well as gauging the distance between them both within and between societies on both sides of the Atlantic across a range of global issues including: economic governance and managing globalization, technological change and social stability, immigration, climate change and energy security.
Reporting at the Southern Borders: Journalism and Public Debates on Immigration in the U.S. and the E.U
Vicki Birchfield with Giovanna Dell’Orto (University of Minnesota)
Undocumented immigration across the Mediterranean and the US-Mexican border is one of the most contested transatlantic public and political issues, raising fundamental questions about national identity, security and multiculturalism—all in the glare of news media themselves undergoing dramatic transformations.
This interdisciplinary, international volume fills a major gap in political science and communication literature on the role of news media in public debates over immigration by providing unique insider’s perspectives on journalistic practices and bringing them into dialogue with scholars and immigrant rights practitioners.
After providing original comparative research by established and emerging international affairs and media scholars as well as grounded reflections by UN and IOM practitioners, the book presents candid, in-depth assessments by nine leading European and North American journalists covering immigration from the frontlines, ranging from the Guardian’s Southern Europe editor to the immigration reporter for the Arizona Republic. Their comparative reflections on the professional, institutional and technological constraints shaping news stories offer unprecedented insight into the challenges and opportunities for 21st century journalism to affect public discourse and policymaking about issues critical to the future of the transatlantic space, making the book relevant across a wide range of scholarship on the media’s impact on public affairs.
"Reporting at the Southern Borders offers a fully fleshed appraisal at why mass immigration, illegal and otherwise, remains a remarkably similar flashpoint for public opinion and policy in both the United States and Europe. It's a must read for journalists trying to tackle immigration's thorny issues and for anyone else hoping to understand one of the most vexing issues of our age." —Dudley Althaus, Senior Correspondent of Global Post, 29-year veteran of U.S.-Mexico Border Coverage