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Environment and labor standards in world trade: Cognitive approaches to changes in regime scope

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posted on 2023-09-06, 03:29 authored by Jeremy Brewster Grace

The scope of issues addressed by the international trade regime is a function of changing information and knowledge available to policy makers. This thesis examines recent initiatives in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to study the relationship between free trade and environmental and labor standards. A hypothesis is developed that expansion of regime scope is associated with three variables: (1) the role of consensual knowledge; (2) the legal mechanisms and political dynamics of conflicting regimes; (3) how proposals for an alternative framework cohere with existing norms. The substantive arguments of each issue area are contrasted in order to understand how new knowledge influences policy makers. The study finds that the WTO's decision to study environment reflected the coherence of environmentalist arguments with the norms of the trade regime. Labor standards were avoided due to the inability of backers to demonstrate a clear alternative framework combined with strong political opposition from major developing countries.

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ProQuest Dissertations & Theses

Language

English

Notes

Thesis (M.A.)--American University, 1995.

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http://hdl.handle.net/1961/thesesdissertations:5197

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application/pdf

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Part of thesis digitization project, awaiting processing.

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