Project

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Understanding Power Transitions in the Global Economy. Regulatory Politics in Flux

Applicant Lavenex Sandra
Number 140456
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Département de science politique SES Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.05.2012 - 31.08.2016
Approved amount 344'312.00
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Keywords (10)

competition policy; US; intellectual property rights; product standards; power transitions; policy transfer; regulatory politics; EU; Brazil; China

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

Over the past two decades the world economy has been dramatically reshaped by the rise of new economic powers and the proliferation of regional and bilateral agreements. The growing economic weight of Brazil, China and other emerging economies vis-à-vis the traditional trade hegemons, the EU and US, is well documented. The consequences of these market shifts for the regulation of the global economy, their implications for the EU’s and US’ influence on trade rules, and emerging powers’ evolving role in the structures of global economic governance are however less well understood. While scholars have started to study the role of new powers in multilateral institutions such as the WTO, one should keep in mind that today, relevant rule-making and policy-transfer occurs in various institutional venues, including bilateral and regional free-trade agreements as well as more informal frameworks such as transgovernmental dialogues and networks .

Therefore, this research project explores the following questions:

1. When and under what conditions does increasing market power translate into regulatory power, i.e. the power to shape the rules of the global economy?

2. How far does regulatory power vary across institutional venues and policy fields, and why?

3. Which role does market size play for regulatory power, and what is the importance of governance capacity and domestic interest groups?

We address these questions through a comparative research design juxtaposing two traditional regulatory hegemons, the European Union and the United States, with two emerging powers, Brazil and China in three topical fields of international trade policy: product standards, competition policy and intellectual property rights, focusing on key events over a period of 20 years (1991-2011, starting in the period preceding the conclusion of the WTO Uruguay Round and Brazil’s/China’s accession). In theoretical terms, we want to go beyond realist accounts that infer regulatory power from relative market size and look into the mechanisms that convey this economic leverage into political influence. In particular, we will investigate the importance of governance capacity (defined as capacity to set and uphold trade rules) and the role of domestic interest groups in generating demand for regulatory activism in different institutional venues.

Our methodology combines theoretically guided qualitative comparative analysis and process tracing. This approach combines in a first step the systematic identification of causal inferences in a medium number of cases (fuzzy-set QCA) with, in a second step, in-depth causal process-tracing in a small-N comparative research design. While the congruence analysis allows us to investigate the explanatory potential of three competing theoretical perspectives, the configurational logic takes into account that various interactions may exist between the different causal factors.

Our data base consists of pertinent regulatory initiatives in a defined set of institutional venues (based on coded policy documents/reports, minutes, and expert interviews) and economic and institutional indicators relating to market shares, governance capacity, and interest groups in the four ‘countries’. The project will involve field work in the EU, US, Brazil and China and is backed by a network of cooperation with research institutes and policy experts in these ‘countries’.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
China and India’s insertion in the intellectual property rights regime: sustaining or disrupting the rules?
Serrano Omar (2016), China and India’s insertion in the intellectual property rights regime: sustaining or disrupting the rules?, in New Political Economy, 21(4), 343-362.
Making Use of TRIPS Flexibilities: Implementation and Diffusion of Compulsory Licensing Regimes in Brazil and India
Burri Mira and Serrano Omar (2016), Making Use of TRIPS Flexibilities: Implementation and Diffusion of Compulsory Licensing Regimes in Brazil and India, WTI Working Paper, WTI Bern.
Economic Integration and Rivalry in Asia: Comparing Regional Trade Strategies of China and India
Serrano Omar and Eckhard Jappe (2014), Economic Integration and Rivalry in Asia: Comparing Regional Trade Strategies of China and India, NCCR Working Paper, NCCR Trade.
Rising powers' venue-shopping on international mobility
Jurje Flavia and Lavenex Sandra (2014), Rising powers' venue-shopping on international mobility, WTI Working Paper, WTO Bern.
Trade Agreements as Venues for ‘Market Power Europe’?
Jurje Flavia and Lavenex Sandra (2014), Trade Agreements as Venues for ‘Market Power Europe’?, in Journal of Common Market Studies, 52(2), 320-336.
Exporting best and bad practices – the limits of EU and US approaches to liberalize public procurement in Brazil, China and India
Krizic Ivo, Exporting best and bad practices – the limits of EU and US approaches to liberalize public procurement in Brazil, China and India, in European Foreign Affairs Review.
Exporting intellectual property rights to emerging countries: EU and US approaches compared
Krizic Ivo and Serrano Omar, Exporting intellectual property rights to emerging countries: EU and US approaches compared, in European Foreign Affairs Review.
Introduction: EU and US Regulatory Power under Strain? Emerging Countries between Rule-takers and Rule-makers
Lavenex Sandra Krizic Ivo Serrano Omar, Introduction: EU and US Regulatory Power under Strain? Emerging Countries between Rule-takers and Rule-makers, in European Foreign Affairs Review.
Labour Rights Promotion in the Absence of Conditionality? A Comparative Study of How the EU and the US Engage China and India
Oehri Myriam, Labour Rights Promotion in the Absence of Conditionality? A Comparative Study of How the EU and the US Engage China and India, in European Foreign Affairs Review.
Learning to play hardball from established powers? Emerging countries and trade remedies
Elsig Manfred and Serrano Omar, Learning to play hardball from established powers? Emerging countries and trade remedies, in European Foreign Affairs Review.
Migration policy towards emerging countries: regulatory power reversed?
Jurje Lavenex and Lavenex Sandra, Migration policy towards emerging countries: regulatory power reversed?, in European Foreign Affairs Review.
Tug, Hug or Both? A comparative analysis of EU and US competition policy permeation to Brazil and China
Wang Lei, Tug, Hug or Both? A comparative analysis of EU and US competition policy permeation to Brazil and China, in European Foreign Affairs Review.
Usufruindo das flexibilidades do TRIPS: implementação e difusão dos regimes de licenciamento compulsório no Brasil e na Índia
Serrano Omar and Burri Mira, Usufruindo das flexibilidades do TRIPS: implementação e difusão dos regimes de licenciamento compulsório no Brasil e na Índia, in Henrique Zeferino de Menezes (ed.), Editora, UFPB, Joao Pessoa, Brasilien, 115-137.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI) Brazil (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
World Intellectual Property Organisation Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Instituto Igarapé Brazil (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Federal University of Paraiba (UFPB) Brazil (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Sao Paulo University (USP) Brazil (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
BRICS Policy Center Brazil (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Cambridge Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences China (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Fudan University China (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), Beijing China (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
World Trade Institute Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Nankai University China (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) Brazil (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Emerging Economies Forum 2016 Talk given at a conference From rule-takers to rule-makers? Patterns of adaptation, resistance and initiative among emerging powers in the world trade regime ( 04.11.2016 Guangzhou, China Serrano Omar;
ISA Annual Convention 2016 Talk given at a conference Rising Powers in the International Patent Regime: From Rule-Breakers to Rule-Makers 16.03.2016 Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America Serrano Omar;
ISA Annual Convention 2016 Talk given at a conference Emerging Countries and Access and Benefit Sharing 16.03.2016 Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America Serrano Omar;
ISA Annual Convention 2015 Talk given at a conference The Limits of Transgovernmentalism 15.02.2015 New Orleans, United States of America Serrano Omar;
FLACSO-ISA Joint International Conference Talk given at a conference Rule-makers? India and China in the intellectual property regime 23.07.2014 Buenos Aires, Argentina Serrano Omar;
SASE 26th Annual Conference "The Institutional Foundations of Capitalism" - Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics Talk given at a conference From rule-takers to rule-makers? Patterns of adaptation, resistance and initiative among emerging powers in the world trade regime 10.07.2014 Chicago, United States of America Serrano Omar;
ISA Annual Convention 2013 Talk given at a conference Evolving views: are new domestic constituencies leading to stronger IP protection in India and China? 03.04.2013 San Francisco, United States of America Serrano Omar;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Second UniGe - Yonsei Workshop on Global Governance 04.08.2016 Seoul, Korean Republic (South Korea)
First UniGe - Yonsei Workshop on Global Governance 24.06.2016 Universität Genf, Switzerland
Intellectual Property Rights and Public Health 12.03.2015 Universität Genf, Switzerland
Understanding Power Shifts in the Global Economy 15.01.2015 Univesität Genf, Switzerland
Propiedade Intelectual e Desenvolvimento’ 17.07.2014 UFPB, Centro Joao Pesoa, Brasilien, Brazil
Power shifts in global trade regulation: patterns of influence, contestation and accommodation 06.02.2014 Universität Luzern, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved


Awards

Title Year
Best paper award (second prize) from the China Society of Emerging Economy Studies at the Emerging Economies Forum, Guangzhou 2016. For the paper: From rule-takers to rule-makers? Patterns of adaptation, resistance and initiative among emerging powers in the world trade regime 2016

Abstract

Over the past two decades the world economy has been dramatically reshaped by the rise of new economic powers and the proliferation of regional and bilateral agreements. The growing economic weight of Brazil, China and other emerging economies vis-à-vis the traditional trade hegemons, the EU and US, is well documented (e.g. Drezner 2007b; Ikenberry/Wright 2008; Nye 2011; Zacharia 2008). The consequences of these market shifts for the regulation of the global economy, their implications for the EU’s and US’ influence on trade rules, and emerging powers’ evolving role in the structures of global economic governance are however less well understood. While scholars have started to study the role of new powers in multilateral institutions such as the WTO (Narlikar 2010), one should keep in mind that today, relevant rule-making and policy-transfer occurs in various institutional venues, including bilateral (FTA) and regional free-trade agreements (RTA) as well as more informal frameworks such as transgovernmental dialogues and networks (Kahler and Lake 2009; Mattli and Woods 2009). Therefore, this research project explores the following questions:?When and under what conditions does increasing market power translate into regulatory power, i.e. the power to shape the rules of the global economy? ?How far does regulatory power vary across institutional venues and policy fields, and why??Which role does market size play for regulatory power, and what is the importance of governance capacity and domestic interest groups?We address these questions through a comparative research design juxtaposing two traditional regulatory hegemons, the European Union and the United States, with two emerging powers, Brazil and China in three topical fields of international trade policy: product standards, competition policy and intellectual property rights, focusing on key events over a period of 20 years (1991-2011, starting in the period preceding the WTO Uruguay Round and Brazil’s/China’s accession). In theoretical terms, we want to go beyond realist accounts that infer regulatory power from relative market size (Drezner 2005 and 2007, Lake 2009) and look into the mechanisms that convey this economic leverage into political influence. Linking up with the literature on policy transfer/diffusion (i.a. Simmons, Dobbin and Garret 2006; Marsh and Sharman 2009), institutional complexity (Alter and Meunier 2009; Helfer 2009; Raustiala and Victor 2004), and external governance (Lavenex 2004, 2008; Lavenex and Schimmelfennig 2009), we will in particular investigate the importance of governance capacity (defined as capacity to set and uphold trade rules, Bach and Newman 2007) and the role of domestic interest groups in generating demand for regulatory activism in different institutional venues (Moravcsik 1997; Mattli and Büthe 2003). Our case selection reflects this theoretical interest. While increasingly sharing the status of big market players, our four ‘countries’ differ with regard to issues of governance capacity and domestic factors. Furthermore, the salience of the explanatory factors differs across the policy areas under study. While all three issues (product standards, competition policy and intellectual property rights) are currently subject to regulatory activism, they differ with regard to the externalities market size produces, they rely to different extents on governance capacity and involve different domestic interest constellations. Our methodology combines theoretically guided congruence analysis (Blatter and Haverland 2012) with qualitative comparative, configurational process tracing. This approach combines in a first step the systematic identification of causal inferences in a medium number of cases (fuzzy-set QCA) with, in a second step, in-depth causal process-tracing in a small-N comparative research design. While the congruence analysis allows us to investigate the explanatory potential of three competing theoretical perspectives, the configurational logic takes into account that various interactions may exist between the different causal factors (Ragin 2000 and 2006). The focus on interactions and causal chains allows highlighting the mechanisms that convey independent variables into particular outcomes (George and Bennet 2005: 12). In addition, the configurational logic, by identifying the interplay between explanatory factors drawn from different theoretical traditions, is particularly apt at theoretical innovation. Our data base consists of pertinent regulatory initiatives in a defined set of institutional venues (based on coded policy documents/reports, minutes, and expert interviews) and economic and institutional indicators relating to market shares, governance capacity, and interest groups in the four ‘countries’. The project will involve field work in the EU, US, Brazil and China and is backed by a network of cooperation with research institutes and policy experts in these ‘countries’.
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