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"The Social Construction of Free Trade: The European Union, NAFTA, and Mercosur"

Duina, Francesco. (2005) "The Social Construction of Free Trade: The European Union, NAFTA, and Mercosur". In: UNSPECIFIED, Austin, Texas. (Unpublished)

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      A large number of nation states throughout the globe entered into regional trade agreements (RTAs) during the 1980s and 1990s. Most observers assumed that the majority of RTAs could be understood as expressions of a single phenomenon: a widespread embrace of free trade. Uninterested in comparative questions, they made the collective turn to integration the subject of their analyses. This paper challenges this undifferentiated view of RTAs. In so doing, it produces evidence that directly speaks to current debates on globalization, the nature of markets, and the spread of neoliberalism across the world. The starting premise is that regional market building is a social endeavor, occurring in the midst of thick institutional contexts. Those contexts give rise to RTAs with remarkably different characteristics. The empirical analysis focuses on the European Union, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and Mercosur. Attention is given to the divergent evolution of law and organizations in three spheres of social life: working women, dairy products, and labor rights. The concluding section discusses additional variables shaping RTAs and venues for future research.

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      Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
      Uncontrolled Keywords: North American Free Trade Agreement; Mercosur.
      Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > regionalism, international
      EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Latin America
      EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-US
      EU policies and themes > External relations > international trade
      Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
      EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
      EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
      Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2005 (9th), March 31-April 2, 2005
      Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
      Official EU Document: No
      Language: English
      Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2005
      Page Range: p. 39
      Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:24

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