Imitation and innovation in international governance: The diffusion of trade agreement design

Leonardo Baccini, Andreas Dür, Yoram Z. Haftel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The growing number of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) is one of the hallmarks of the current global economy. Within and across most, if not all, regions of the world, governments have concluded numerous new agreements or have revised previously signed ones. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), more than 350 PTAs are currently in force, and many more are under negotiation. Recent studies indicate that these instruments have implications for central concerns in world politics, such as international trade (Baier, Bergstrand and Clance, Chapter 14 in this volume; Dür, Baccini and Elsig 2014), foreign direct investment (Büthe and Milner 2008), foreign aid (Baccini and Urpelainen 2012), human rights (Hafner-Burton 2009), armed disputes (Haftel 2007; Mansfield and Pevehouse 2000) and democratisation (Pevehouse 2005). A glance over these numerous agreements indicates, however, that they vary a great deal in their scope and design (Dür, Baccini and Elsig 2014). Some PTAs, such as the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (2004), liberalise only trade in goods, whereas others, such as the agreement between Australia and Chile (2008), tackle trade in services, foreign direct investment (FDI), intellectual property rights (IPRs), public procurement and the like. Still others, such as the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU, 1994), include a common external tariff, free movement of factors of production and a variety of other objectives. PTAs also differ in the depth of their members' commitments in any given issue area and the degree to which they allow their members flexibility in the application of substantive provisions. These differences appear to condition the impact of trade agreements on trade flows (Dür, Baccini and Elsig 2014; Kono 2007) and other international interactions (Büthe and Milner 2014; Haftel 2012) in significant ways.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationTrade Cooperation
Subtitle of host publicationThe Purpose, Design and Effects of Preferential Trade Agreements
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781316018453
ISBN (Print)9781107083875
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2015.


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