Journal article

Social protectionist bias: The domestic politics of North–South trade agreements

Evgeny Postnikov, Ida Bastiaens

The British Journal of Politics and International Relations | SAGE Publications | Published : 2020


North–South preferential trade agreements (PTAs) have proliferated rapidly in the past decades. Despite a common focus on trade liberalisation, these preferential trade agreements differ greatly in their inclusion of labour and environmental provisions. A difference in the enforcement of these social standards is also puzzling: some preferential trade agreements envision sanctions for non-compliance while others do not. What explains this variation? We argue that Northern governments have their hands tied by domestic constituents demanding social standards as a key protectionist instrument. However, different electoral rules moderate the success of these demands. Because majoritarian systems..

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