Competing for the competition rules: the EU-US rivalry over the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Competition Policy

Roohani, Hammed (2019) Competing for the competition rules: the EU-US rivalry over the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Competition Policy. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis examines the capacity of the WTO for fostering cooperation between the EU and the US for the Agreement on Competition Policy. Given the successful conclusion of two bilateral competition arrangements between the two states, as well as their cooperation on the same subject in other international institutions such as the International Competition Network, the thesis sets out to assess the WTO’s impact – as the immediate underlying platform on which the interactions unfolded – over terms of cooperation between 1997-2004.
The thesis accommodates its main inquiry using the theory of Neoliberal Institutionalism to test the fundamental claim that international institutions, such as the WTO, facilitate cooperation between sovereign self-reliant states by addressing cheating risks. The project further draws on the counter-argument put forward by Neorealists to furnish its maintained hypothesis over the claim that it needs more than enforceability of a deal to ensure cooperation. The concept of nesting institutions – endorsed by Neoliberal Institutionalism and Neorealism alike – was slotted in to help visualise the WTO as the catalyst of cooperation for the negotiations on a Competition Policy Agreement (CPA). The theory of Rational Design of International Institutions operationalises the research question.
Using the WTO’s internal documents of the negotiations as the main sources of data, the empirical findings of this thesis suggest that the WTO had a substantial impact on the quality of interactions between the two countries as they unfolded over time. The WTO, as expected from an international institution, provided a workable solution for cheating concerns as well. However, that solution in its own right failed to ensure cooperation between the EU and the US for the Competition Policy Agreement.
The findings indicate that to remain relevant to intentional economic cooperation, the WTO must compete with other fora by improvising a wider space for possible enforcement solutions. On the theory side, the thesis suggests that a future research agenda over the international arrangements for competition policy must be informed by a revised understanding of the two rational theories of interstate cooperation, i.e., Neoliberal Institutionalism and Neorealism, so much so that the two are not substitutes but the former is subordinated to the latter.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Strategy and Marketing
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions > HC0240 Europe
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF1371 International trade > HF1383 International trade agencies > HF1385 World Trade Organization
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2019 10:47
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2019 12:49

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