Jueves 01, octubre, 2009

Bargaining, Institutions, and the Politics of Dispute Settlement in Regional Trade Agreements in the Americas

Since the late 1990s, Latin American countries have increasingly relied on rules-oriented mechanisms to adjudicate regional trade disputes. Yet, a significant number of controversies continue to be managed and settled through political bargaining and diplomacy. By illuminating the conditions under which states rely on formal institutions to resolve conflicts and manage trade relations, this empirical analysis has broader implications for the study of the impact of institutions and the consequences of increased legalization of international trade relations. We examine the conditions under which Latin American countries select institutional and/or diplomatic mechanisms to adjudicate regional trade controversies. We investigate the role of capacity limitations, power asymmetries, interest group pressure and institutional design on the selection of strategy and venue for the adjudication of regional trade disputes.