Structural Conditions for Novelty: The Introduction of New Environmental Clauses to the Trade Regime Complex

International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 20, page s61–83 (2020)

29 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2020

See all articles by James Hollway

James Hollway

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)

Jean-Frederic Morin

Université Laval - Departement de Science Politique

Joost Pauwelyn

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID); Georgetown University Law Centre

Date Written: January 8, 2020

Abstract

When do parties introduce novel clauses to a system of contracts or treaties?

While important research has investigated how clauses diffuse once introduced, few empirical studies address their initial introduction. Drawing on network theory, this paper argues that novel clauses are introduced when agreements are concluded in certain structures of earlier agreements and the clauses they include.

This paper demonstrates this argument using the example of 282 different environmental clauses introduced into the trade regime complex through 630 trade agreements concluded between 1945 and 2016.

We find that trade agreements are more likely to introduce novelties when they involve parties with a diversity of experience with prior environmental clauses, and introduce more novelties when more parties are less constrained by prior trade agreements between them.

Contrary to prevailing wisdom, power asymmetry between the negotiating parties is not statistically significant.

Keywords: Novelty, regime complex, trade agreements, trade and environment, NAFTA

Suggested Citation

Hollway, James and Morin, Jean-Frederic and Pauwelyn, Joost, Structural Conditions for Novelty: The Introduction of New Environmental Clauses to the Trade Regime Complex (January 8, 2020). International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 20, page s61–83 (2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3515950

James Hollway (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

Maison de la Paix
Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland

Jean-Frederic Morin

Université Laval - Departement de Science Politique ( email )

Ste-Foy, Quebec G1K 7P4
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://ulaval.academia.edu/JeanFredericMorin

Joost Pauwelyn

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

PO Box 136
Geneva, Geneva CH-1211
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://graduateinstitute.ch

Georgetown University Law Centre ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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