Authors: L. Alan Winters World Bank
Regionalism versus Multilateralism
As economists worry about the ability of the World Trade Organization to maintain the GATT’s unsteady yet distinct momentum toward liberalism, and as they * contemplate the emergence of world-scale regional integration arrangements (the EU, NAFTA, FTAA, APEC, and, possibly, TAFTA), the question has never been more pressing. * Winters switches the focus from the immediate consequences of regionalism for the economic welfare of the integrating partners to the question of whether it sets * up forces that encourage or discourage evolution toward globally freer trade. The answer is, “We don’t know yet.” One can build models that suggest either conclusion, but these models are still so abstract that they should be viewed as parables rather than sources of testable predictions. Winters offers conclusions about research strategy as well as about the world we live in. Among the conclusions he reaches: * Since we value multilateralism, we had better work out what it means and, if it means different things to different people, make sure to identify the sense in which we are using the term. Sector-specific lobbies are a danger if regionalism is permitted because they tend to stop blocs from moving all the way to global free trade. In the presence of lobbies, trade diversion is good politics even if it is bad economics. Regionalism’s direct effect on multilateralism is important, but possibly more so is the indirect effect it has by changing the ways in which groups of countries interact and respond to shocks in the world economy. Regionalism, by allowing stronger internalization of the gains from trade liberalization, seems likely to facilitate freer trade when it is initially highly restricted. The possibility of regionalism probably increases the risks of catastrophe in the trading system. The insurance incentives for joining regional arrangements and the existence of “shiftable externalities” both lead to such a conclusion. So too does the view that regionalism is a means to bring trade partners to the multilateral negotiating table because it is essentially coercive. Using regionalism for this purpose may have been an effective strategy, but it is also risky.
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‘Witnessing the open community policy development process at the AfriNIC community led me to further appreciate the importance of the Policy Research Phase of the Diplo IGCBP. AfriNIC-13 was an eye opener...’ - Maduka Attamah from Nigeria
ADF-13 Report: Supporting Africa’s Transformation
The UN and the world diplomatic system: lessons from the Cyprus and US- North Korea talks
In Bourantonis, D. and M. Evriviades (eds), A United Nations for the Twenty-First Century(Kluwer Law International, 1996), pp. 105-16
United Nations-Sponsored World Conferences: Focus on Impact and Follow-up
The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action
Negotiating and Navigating Global Health: Case Studies in Global Health Diplomacy
Development Co-operation Report 2015: Making Partnerships Effective Coalitions for Action
The complexification of the United Nations system
Triangular Co-operation and Aid Effectiveness: Can triangular co-operation make aid more effective?
Multilateral Aid 2015: Better Partnerships for a Post-2015 World
United Nations, Divided World, 2nd ed
Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
The participatory approach that led to the elaboration of the Common African Position (CAP) on the post-2015 Development Agenda involving stakeholders at the national, regional and continental levels among the public and private sectors, parliamentarians, civil society organizations (CSOs), including women and youth associations, and academia. This approach has helped address the consultation gap in the initial preparation and formulation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
A Tipping Point for the Internet: Predictions for 2018 (Briefing Paper #9)
Diplo: Effective and inclusive diplomacy
Diplo is a non-profit foundation established by the governments of Malta and Switzerland. Diplo works to increase the role of small and developing states, and to improve global governance and international policy development.
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