Competition Policy and Regional Integration in Developing Countries
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Competition Policy and Regional Integration in Developing Countries

Edited by Josef Drexl, Mor Bakhoum, Eleanor M. Fox, Michal S. Gal and David J. Gerber

The book provides insights on the regional integration experiences in developing countries, their potential for development and the role of competition law and policy in the process. Moreover, the book emphasizes the development dimension both of regional competition policies and of competition law. Although it holds many promises for developing countries, some challenges must be overcome for the process of creating a regional market and applying a competition law, to be successful. This timely book delivers concrete proposals that will help to unleash the potential of regional integration and regional competition policies, and help developing countries fully enjoy the benefits deriving from a regional market.
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Chapter 12: Regionalization, Development and Competition Law: Exploring the Political Dimension

David J. Gerber


David J. Gerber 1. INTRODUCTION In discussions of the regionalization of competition law, the political dimension often leads a shadowy existence. Regionalization tends to be presented with a hint of a halo around it. States are presented as acting for a shared policy objective intended to benefit all, and political issues often sit uncomfortably with that image. This is particularly true when regionalization involves ‘developing countries’. Here there is often a further level of ‘common good’ discourse. Regionalization is here portrayed not only as a communal experience and goal, but also as one designed to reduce poverty and aid economic development. Where regionalization involves competition law, an additional veil often lies across the discussions. Competition law is about economics, it is said, and it serves the economic gains of the participating countries. This tends to distance the enterprise from any political factors. Each of these forms of discussion emphasizes safe, sanitized language and imagery. Yet few would actually argue that the political dimension is not central to the process of regionalization. A key issue, then, is how to view, analyse and discuss the political dimension that everyone knows exists, but that many find awkward or unpleasant to talk about. Finding a language for discussing the political dimension thus takes on a central role. In this chapter, some of the elements and factors that may be relevant to such an effort are sketched. The focus is on the regionalization of competition law in so-called developing countries, but the analysis is...

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