Regionalization, Development and Competition Law: Exploring the Political Dimension

Competition Policy and Regional Integration in Developing Countries (Josef Drexl et al. eds., Edward Elgar 2012)

Chicago-Kent College of Law Research Paper No. 2013-35

22 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2013 Last revised: 25 Sep 2013

See all articles by David J. Gerber

David J. Gerber

Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology

Date Written: October 9, 2012

Abstract

In discussions of the regionalization of competition law, the political dimension often leads a shadowy existence. Regionalization tends to be presented with a hint of a halo around it. States are presented as acting for a shared policy objective intended to benefit all, and political issues often sit uncomfortably with that image. This is particularly true when regionalization involves ‘developing countries’. Here there is often a further level of ‘common good’ discourse.

Regionalization is portrayed not only as a communal experience and goal, but also as a tool for reducing poverty and aiding economic development. Where regionalization involves competition law, an additional veil often lies across the discussions. Competition law is about economics, it is said, and it serves the economic gains of the participating countries. This tends to distance the enterprise from any political factors. Each of these forms of discussion emphasizes safe, sanitized language and imagery.

Yet few would actually argue that the political dimension is not central to the process of regionalization. A key issue, then, is how to view, analyze and discuss the political dimension that everyone knows exists, but that many find awkward or unpleasant to talk about. Finding a language for discussing the political dimension thus takes on a central role. This article explores that dimension.

Keywords: regionalization, competition law, politics, political dimension, developing countries, economics

JEL Classification: K19, K21, K23, K42

Suggested Citation

Gerber, David J., Regionalization, Development and Competition Law: Exploring the Political Dimension (October 9, 2012). Competition Policy and Regional Integration in Developing Countries (Josef Drexl et al. eds., Edward Elgar 2012); Chicago-Kent College of Law Research Paper No. 2013-35. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2159340

David J. Gerber (Contact Author)

Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology ( email )

565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661-3691
United States

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