chapter  12
5 Pages

COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER 11

WithGeorge A. Petrochilos

One can have sympathy with the main argument of the chapter, namely the need to consider international economic regulation as an issue of political economy. In fact, a great deal of such regulation is approached from a political economy perspective and indeed the discussions of the Uruguay Round, which finally turned GATT into the WTO, were no exception. However, therein lies an inherent weakness, since under ‘political economy’ one can try to push for the discussion/inclusion of whatever issues one wishes. Which ones are actually included will largely depend not only on value judgements but also on the political clout of the participants and the need for pragmatism to achieve certain minimum results. Attempts from some parties to include many more ‘social’ issues will tend to limit the chances of obtaining agreement, thus making international economic regulation more difficult to achieve in the first place and increasingly cumbersome to monitor, police and enforce subsequently.