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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17307

Title: Contesting Cosmopolitan Europe: A Study of Non-governmental Organizations in the European Union's External Trade Policymaking Process
Authors: Hannah, Erin
Advisor: Pauly, Louis
Department: Political Science
Keywords: European Union
NGOs
Legitimacy
Post-National Governance
Trade Policymaking
WTO
Issue Date: 26-Feb-2009
Abstract: This thesis investigates whether more open trade policymaking processes that include non-governmental entities, by virtue of the divergence of interests represented, lead to a stronger, more legitimate and qualitatively enhanced international trade system. The European Union stands out among major trading powers for its significant and dramatic response to new demands for access and participation. The thesis examines whether improvements in the political opportunity structure for ‘progressive’ Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) result in more legitimate external trade policymaking in the European Union (EU). Legitimacy is assessed along two lines: the way policy is made (procedural legitimacy) and the projected outcomes of policy (substantive legitimacy). The role of NGOs is evaluated in two important cases in the context of World Trade Organization negotiations since 2000. The first concerns the formulation of the formal European Communities’ (EC) position on trade related intellectual property rights (TRIPS) and access to medicines. The second concerns the EC’s requests for water services liberalization in the context of General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) 2000 negotiations. Through a critical evaluation of the role of NGOs in these cases, the thesis argues that there is clear potential for NGOs to represent citizens’ demands, constitute a basic form of popular representation and hold decision-makers accountable to a broader public. However, they cannot determine policy outcomes in this arena. This thesis challenges a theoretical perspective on public policymaking called Cosmopolitanism. Grounded in democratic and normative theory, it conceives of Global Civil Society, and NGOs in particular, as major conduits for democracy and social justice in global and/or regional governance. The thesis builds upon the insights of Constructivism to advance an alternative account of the significance of NGOs in the EU’s external trade policymaking process. In particular, it argues that epistemes, the deepest level of the ideational world, dominate the external trade policymaking process. NGOs succeed only when their attempts to achieve more democratic, just, equitable and fair external trade policies in the EU conform broadly to the dominant legal/liberal episteme. When they seek to overrule that episteme, they fail, regardless of their formal involvement in the external trade policymaking process.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17307
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Political Science - Doctoral theses

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