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Cover International Relations and the European Union

8. The European Union as a Trade Power  

Sophie Meunier and Kalypso Nicolaïdis

Internal and external trade liberalization have together constituted the essence of European integration since the Treaty of Rome. Successive enlargements, along with the constant deepening of the single market, have turned the European Union (EU) into one of the world’s largest trade powers. The EU forms trade policy through a complex decision-making process, often contested politically, which allows it to speak on behalf of its members in international trade, and now investment, negotiations. This chapter argues that not only does the EU derive some inherent power from trade, but it has also long used trade as the backbone of its normative power, using its market access in order to obtain political concessions from its commercial partners. However, this role has been increasingly challenged by recent changes in the relative power and behaviour of the EU’s main trade partners and competitors, which have forced Europe to refocus its trade policy towards more traditional commercial objectives and to create new unilateral trade defence instruments. Through its goal of what is terms open strategic autonomy, the EU is trying to strike a delicate balance between remaining a force for liberalism and openness in the world while not being naive and taken advantage of. This chapter explores the determinants of the EU’s trade power and examines the contribution of trade policy to the power of Europe in the international system, both in the context of international trade agreements and in the broader framework of international relations.


Cover Politics in the Developing World

16. Development  

Tony Addison

This chapter examines development policy objectives and their explicit focus on poverty reduction. It first considers different definitions of development policy objectives before discussing the roles that the market mechanism and the state should play in allocating society’s productive resources. In particular, it looks at the economic role of the state as one of the central issues dividing opinion on development strategy and explains how rising inequality led to a backlash against economic liberalization. The chapter proceeds by exploring the relationship between economic growth and poverty reduction, along with the political difficulties that arise from economic reform. It also analyses the importance of transforming the structure of economies and the new global development landscape, including changes in development finance.


Cover Global Environmental Politics

6. Development and the environment  

From the Stockholm Summit to the Sustainable Development Goals

This chapter addresses environmental protection and economic development. These two policy objectives are at once contradictory and complementary; they cannot be considered separately as one necessarily affects the other. The chapter adopts a historical approach and studies how interactions between these two policy objectives have been understood since the early 1970s. To do so, it first introduces three different views — systemic, liberal, and structural — on how environmental protection and economic development interact. It goes on to assess the resonances of each of these views in key global instruments adopted in the last 50 years: the 1972 Stockholm Declaration, the 1987 Brundtland Report, the outcomes of the 1992 Rio Summit, the 2002 Declaration of the Johannesburg Summit, and the 2012 Rio Declaration. One of the main conclusions of the chapter is that a liberal understanding of the relationship between environmental protection and economic development has been gaining increased prominence over time.