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The EU and the Political Economy of Transatlantic Relations


Edited By Finn Laursen

Transatlantic economic relations remain extremely important for the European Union as well as for other countries in the world. When it comes to trade and foreign direct investment, the EU and the United States remain arguably the world’s most powerful actors, despite the financial crisis which started in the United States in 2007 and subsequently spread to Europe and to the Eurozone in particular. This crisis has created great economic strain on both Europe and North America, with politicians trying to muddle through and disagreeing on which strategy to adopt. The dominance of the Atlantic countries in the global political economy is now challenged by new emerging powers, including the so-called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). These countries have succeeded in keeping much higher growth rates than Europe and North America, although they too are now affected by the global economic crisis.
This book is focused on these issues as well as other issues in transatlantic relations, including competition and environment policy. Given the complex interdependence of transatlantic countries they need to work together to solve the issues that divide them.


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PART III TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS AND TRADE 101 Beyond the Competition for Liberalisation Free Trade Agreements and the Emerging of the Transnational Competitive State Maria BEHRENS Introduction According to proponents of liberal institutionalism, the globalisation process limits the acting capability of states, a decline they can only make up for by pooling their sovereignty on an international level. In the post-national constellation of international relations – as Zürn (2002) has labelled it – international institutions promote the co-ordination and harmonisation of politics among different states through principles, norms, rules, and decision-making processes. In this process, the state is continuously internationalised. Given the augmented requirement for rules and regulations that help solve problems arising during a collision of norms, and furthermore to ensure rules are adhered to, international institutions are transforming from intergovernmentalism to supranation- alism and – when including transnational actors – towards transnational- ism (Knodt and Jachtenfuchs 2002, p. 16). Due to these changes, states continuously lose their dominance in foreign policy in favour of interna- tional/regional organizations and transnational actors. This development will lead to a process of constitutionalism in world politics in which a transformation of the state from a monopolist to a manager of political authority will take place (Genschel and Zangl 2009). From this functionalist perspective, the world trade regime may be regarded as an empirical success story. While the old intergovernmental GATT-1947 channelled interests among states primarily through diplo- matic means, the World Trade Agreement of 1994, within the Uruguay Round framework, strengthened the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s)...

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