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Votes, Vetoes, and the Political Economy of International Trade Agreements$
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Edward D. Mansfield and Helen V. Milner

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691135298

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691135298.001.0001

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Systemic Influences on PTA Formation

Systemic Influences on PTA Formation

(p.70) Chapter 3 Systemic Influences on PTA Formation
Votes, Vetoes, and the Political Economy of International Trade Agreements

Edward D. Mansfield

Helen V. Milner

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines international influences on preferential trading arrangements (PTAs). Both the incidence of PTA formation and the frequency with which states have entered such arrangements have varied over time. After World War II, few agreements were established until the 1960s, at which time there was an uptick in the creation of PTAs that lasted until the mid-1970s. For the next fifteen years or so, relatively few PTAs were formed. During the 1990s, however, states flocked to join these agreements, a trend that has continued into the twenty-first century. The chapter examines four systemic factors that previous studies have linked to these outcomes: hegemony, strategic interaction among both states and PTAs, the global business cycle, and changes in the global balance of power. It also addresses whether the number of democracies worldwide has affected PTA formation and accession. Finally, it considers the effects of features of the GATT/WTO on these outcomes.

Keywords:   preferential trading arrangements, international trade agreements, international relations, hegemony, strategic interaction, global business cycle, balance of power

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