When Cooperation Fails: The International Law and Politics of Genetically Modified Foods

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OUP Oxford, May 21, 2009 - Law - 439 pages
The transatlantic dispute over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has brought into conflict the United States and the European Union, two long-time allies and economically interdependent democracies with a long record of successful cooperation. Yet the dispute - pitting a largely acceptant US against an EU deeply suspicious of GMOs - has developed into one of the most bitter and intractable transatlantic and global conflicts, resisting efforts at negotiated resolution andresulting in a bitterly contested legal battle before the World Trade Organization.Professors Pollack and Shaffer investigate the obstacles to reconciling regulatory differences among nations through international cooperation, using the lens of the GMO dispute. The book addresses the dynamic interactions of domestic law and politics, transnational networks, international regimes, and global markets, through a theoretically grounded and empirically comprehensive analysis of the governance of GM foods and crops. They demonstrate that the deeply politicized, entrenched andpath-dependent nature of the regulation of GMOs in the US and the EU has fundamentally shaped negotiations and decision-making at the international level, limiting the prospects for deliberation and providing incentives for both sides to engage in hard bargaining and to "shop" for favorable internationalforums. They then assess the impacts, and the limits, of international pressures on domestic US and European law, politics and business practice, which have remained strikingly resistant to change.International cooperation in areas like GMO regulation, the authors conclude, must overcome multiple obstacles, legal and political, domestic and international. Any effective response to this persistent dispute, they argue, must recognize both the obstacles to successful cooperation, and the options that remain for each side when cooperation fails.

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Biotechnology Risk Regulation and the Failure of Cooperation
Why the US and EU Biotech Regulatory Regimes Differ
3 The Promise and Failure of Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation through Networks
4 Deliberation or Bargaining? Distributive Conflict and the Fragmented International Regime Complex
Who Decides?
Change Continuity and Lack of Convergence
The Lessons of Transatlantic Conflict Developing Countries and the Future of Agricultural Biotechnology
Subject Index

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About the author (2009)

Mark A. Pollack is Associate Professor of Political Science at Temple University, where he teaches classes in international relations and European Union politics. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1995. He has also taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1995-2004) and was Senior Research Fellow in the transatlantic relations program at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (2000-2002). His research agenda focuses on the role of international institutions in the regional and global governance, with specific projects examining the delegation of powers to the supranational organizations in the European Union, the creation of new mechanisms for the governance of the transatlantic relationship, the global governance of genetically modified organisms, and the "mainstreaming" of gender issues in international organizations.

Professor Gregory Shaffer is Melvin C. Steen Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. He was previously Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he was also Director of the University's European Union Center and Co-Director and Senior Fellow of its Center on World Affairs and the Global Economy, and the inaugural Wing-Tat Lee Chair of International Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Professor Shaffer is a recipient of two US National Science Foundation Law and Social Science grants for his work on the World Trade Organization, a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar for his study of transatlantic regulatory conflict and cooperation, and a Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre on Trade and Sustainable Development for its work on WTO dispute settlement and developing countries.

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