The Political Economy of International Law
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The Political Economy of International Law

A European Perspective

Edited by Alberta Fabbricotti

Set in the context of growing interdisciplinarity in legal research, The Political Economy of International Law: A European Perspective provides a much-needed systematic and coherent review of the interactions between Political Economy and International Law. The book reflects the need felt by international lawyers to open their traditional frontiers to insights from other disciplines - and political economy in particular. The methodological approach of the book is to take the traditional list of topics for a general treatise of international law, and to systematically incorporate insights from political economy to each.
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Chapter 13: The Political Economy of Regional Trade Agreements

Alberta Fabbricotti


This Chapter re-elaborates under the lens of PE an IL argument already developed by the author and explaining the proliferation of Regional Trade Agreements in spite of and in conflict with the WTO rules (particularly art. XXIV GATT). According to this IL argument, such a widespread deviation from the WTO legal order testifies and confirms the existence of a customary rule consisting in a waiver benefiting the creation and operation of preferential bilateral and regional trade partnerships. From a PE perspective, such a non-written waiver (if using a legal language) corresponds to the usual dynamics of international trade, where the behaviour of States (and interest groups behind the scenes) is simply motivated by their preferences (which are multifaceted and not simply ascribable to economic and market bargain).

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