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

60 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2007 Last revised: 16 Dec 2007

See all articles by Chris Brummer

Chris Brummer

Georgetown University Law Center; Institute of International Economic Law (IIEL)


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.

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

Suggested Citation

Brummer, Christopher J., 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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=962898

Christopher J. Brummer (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/faculty/brummer-chris.cfm

Institute of International Economic Law (IIEL) ( email )

Georgetown University Law Center
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://iielaw.org/member/chris-brummer-2/

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