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Ties that Bind: Regionalism, Commercial Treaties, and the Future of Global Economic Integration

Chris Brummer

Georgetown University Law Center

Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 60, No. 5, October 2007

This article provides an in-depth analysis of the at times problematic interplay of regional and bilateral treaties regulating international economic law. Though academics have long debated whether regional and bilateral instruments threaten the hegemony of the multilateral trading system, no attention has been paid to equally far-reaching tensions arising between regional and bilateral agreements themselves. Scholars have instead almost universally treated bilateral and regional commercial agreements as functionally indistinguishable. This article draws on recent empirical evidence to show that bilateral commercial comprise a distinct and important mode of cooperation at times inconsistent with the aims of some regional organizations and frameworks. It also examines the likely outcomes for such conflicts of law, and incorporates the findings in a critical reassessment of the possible costs and benefits of multi-level economic integration.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 60

Keywords: International Economic Law, Bilateral Investment Treaties, Regionalism, World Trade Organization, European Union, Mercosur, Andean Community, International Politics, Multilateralism, Bilateralism, Free Trade, Globalization

JEL Classification: F00, F20, F23, F31, K00, K33

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Date posted: February 15, 2007 ; Last revised: December 16, 2007

Suggested Citation

Brummer, Chris, Ties that Bind: Regionalism, Commercial Treaties, and the Future of Global Economic Integration. Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 60, No. 5, October 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=962898

Contact Information

Christopher J. Brummer (Contact Author)
Georgetown University Law Center ( email )
Washington, DC 20057
United States
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