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Introduction and Overview: Biotechnology, Risk Regulation, and the Failure of Cooperation

M. Pollack & G. Shaffer, WHEN COOPERATION FAILS: THE INTERNATIONAL LAW AND POLITICS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS, p. 1, Oxford University Press, 2010

Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-62

49 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2010  

Mark A. Pollack

Temple University - Department of Political Science; Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Gregory Shaffer

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: October 28, 2010

Abstract

This is the introductory chapter to our book When Cooperation Fails: The International Law and Politics of Genetically Modified Foods (Oxford University Press). It provides the argument of the book and introduces the individual chapters. We investigate the obstacles to reconciling regulatory differences among nations through international cooperation, and assess what happens when cooperation fails. This work addresses the dynamic interactions of domestic law and politics, transnational networks, international regimes, and global markets, through a theoretically grounded and empirically comprehensive analysis of the governance of genetically modified foods and crops. We show that the deeply politicized, entrenched and path-dependent nature of GMO regulation in the United States and the European Union has fundamentally shaped negotiations and decision-making at the international level, limiting the prospects for deliberation and providing incentives for both sides to engage in hard bargaining and to “shop” for favorable international forums. We then, in turn, assess the impacts, and the limits, of transnational and international pressures on domestic U.S. and European law, politics, and business practice. Our emphasis on the intractability of the GMO dispute and the strikingly limited contribution of bilateral networks and multilateral regimes contrasts sharply with much of the literature on international cooperation.

Keywords: International Cooperation, Transnational Legal Process, Transatlantic Relations, Genetically Modified Foods and Crops, Transgovernmental Networks, Forum Shopping, WTO, Fragmentation of International Law

JEL Classification: F02, F10

Suggested Citation

Pollack, Mark A. and Shaffer, Gregory, Introduction and Overview: Biotechnology, Risk Regulation, and the Failure of Cooperation (October 28, 2010). M. Pollack & G. Shaffer, WHEN COOPERATION FAILS: THE INTERNATIONAL LAW AND POLITICS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS, p. 1, Oxford University Press, 2010; Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-62. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1699215

Mark A. Pollack

Temple University - Department of Political Science ( email )

461 Gladfelter Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Gregory C. Shaffer (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92612
United States

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