Competition Law in the International Domain: Networks as a New Form of Governance

26 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2002

See all articles by Imelda Maher

Imelda Maher

University College Dublin (UCD) - Sutherland School of Law

Abstract

Central to the internationalization of competition law has been the emergence of transnational networks of competition officials and experts. These networks have operated in three main areas: co-ordination on enforcement; technical assistance; and moves to develop overarching competition principles at the level of the WTO. The debate over the nature of internationalization of competition norms has fallen into three phases: early failures mainly due to the lack of any network; politicization of competition policy within a UN context followed by the emergence of a network primarily focused on the OECD. The current phase concerns coordination and the attempt to develop a competition law regime at the WTO level. This process is spearheaded by the European Union, with the United States of America favouring bilateral agreements on enforcement and technical assistance only. The way the debate has changed over the past ten years and how the two main protagonists have modified their positions, is indicative of the influence and importance of networks which, while they may give rise to formal agreements, can operate through soft power and persuasion. What emerges from the analysis is the centrality of these networks to this important aspect of contemporary international governance. They supplement rather than replace more traditional forms of internationalism and, while they may fundamentally regard themselves as technocratic, deriving legitimacy from outputs, current pressures on international policy making require them to attend to the process aspects associated with legitimacy of democratic regimes.

Suggested Citation

Maher, Imelda, Competition Law in the International Domain: Networks as a New Form of Governance. Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 29, pp. 111-136, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=309213

Imelda Maher (Contact Author)

University College Dublin (UCD) - Sutherland School of Law ( email )

Dublin D04 V1W8
Ireland
+1 716 4135 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucd.ie/research/people/law/professorimeldapatriciamaher/

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