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The Evolution of the Trade Regime:
Politics, Law, and Economics of the GATT and the WTO
John H. Barton, Judith L. Goldstein, Timothy E. Josling, & Richard H. Steinberg

Paperback | 2008 | $30.95 / £21.95 | ISBN: 9780691136165
256 pp. | 6 x 9 | 11 line illus. 11 tables.
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eBook | ISBN: 9781400837892 |
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The Evolution of the Trade Regime offers a comprehensive political-economic history of the development of the world's multilateral trade institutions, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and its successor, the World Trade Organization (WTO). While other books confine themselves to describing contemporary GATT/WTO legal rules or analyzing their economic logic, this is the first to explain the logic and development behind these rules.

The book begins by examining the institutions' rules, principles, practices, and norms from their genesis in the early postwar period to the present. It evaluates the extent to which changes in these institutional attributes have helped maintain or rebuild domestic constituencies for open markets.

The book considers these questions by looking at the political, legal, and economic foundations of the trade regime from many angles. The authors conclude that throughout most of GATT/WTO history, power politics fundamentally shaped the creation and evolution of the GATT/WTO system. Yet in recent years, many aspects of the trade regime have failed to keep pace with shifts in underlying material interests and ideas, and the challenges presented by expanding membership and preferential trade agreements.

Review:

"The multi-disciplinary approach taken by The Evolution of the Trade Regime will provide any student (graduate and undergraduate) from the fields of political science, law, or economics (or any future policy maker) great insights, both theoretical and practical, into the current and future operations and challenges of the WTO."--Matthew Schaefer, Law and Politics Book Review

"This book deserves a broad audience. . . . I highly recommend it for students that have already had some introduction to the politics and the economics of trade. It would be useful in advanced classes in trade, global governance, and law. The volume is a good synthesis of intellectual perspectives that can help students gain greater understanding of the nuances of trade."--Susan Ariel Aaronson, EH.Net

"The Evolution of the Trade Regime is a scholarly, well written, and well organized book . . . [that] provides a cogent and concise account of the trade regime's evolution. . . . It would be useful for courses in international law, international organization, and the politics of international trade."--Susan K. Sell, Review of International Organization

"The authors have made a worthy contribution to our understanding of the politics of the world trading system."--Alfred E. Eckes, International History Review

"The book is well written and achieves an admirable balance between depth and breadth in its analysis of a complex regime. As an up-to-date review of the trade regime, with original theoretical insights about international institutions, the book should be required reading for both scholars and practitioners of international trade policy."--Christian Davis, Political Science Quarterly

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      File created: 11/10/2014

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