in: The International Political Economy of New Regionalisms Series
The rise of cross-regional trade agreements is a defining trend of the current international trade system as shown by the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in 2015, the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the USA and the EU as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between countries in Asia and Oceania. These differ from previous agreements in their economic significance and large geographic scale, and the wide scope of trade-related issues. The current rise of nationalist and isolationist ideologies across Europe and the USA has raised questions on the future of cross-regional trade deals and made the need to understand their implications for economic and political governance ever more urgent. Two main forms of governance that are central to this volume are the democratic tensions over new generation trade deals on the one hand, and their geopolitical ramifications on the other, which have come into collision to herald the advent of a highly uncertain period of world politics. Many of the questions tackled in this volume, surrounding the democratic governance of trade agreements – whether long-held debates on the inclusion of workers' voices, controversies on intrusive "behind the border" provisions undermining national sovereignty and local autonomy or new questions on digital rights – are crucial to understand the ebbing popular support for far-reaching trade agreements. This book will be a useful learning tool for students and scholars in a wide range of fields, including Globalisation, Global Governance, International Political Economy, International Trade and Investment and International Law, and should also be of interest to EU trade negotiators, international policymakers and business associations.