The emergence of globalization was neither accidental nor
inevitable. To make the "free flow" of commodities, capital, and
money possible, governments first had to introduce a new political
infrastructure. In Remaking U.S. Trade Policy, Nitsan
Chorev focuses on trade liberalization in the United States from
the 1930s to the present as she explores the political origins of
today's global economy.
The ability of the U.S. government to impose its preferences on
other governments is an important part of the story of
globalization, but what is central to Chorev's analysis is
understanding why the nation's leaders supported trade
liberalization in the first place. For Chorev, the explanation lies
in domestic political struggles. Advocates of free trade prevailed
in the struggle with protectionists by working to change the
institutions governing trade policy, replacing institutional
arrangements that favored protectionism with new ones that favored
a free-market approach.
The new institutional arrangements shifted authority from a
protectionist Congress to liberal agencies at the executive branch
and to the World Trade Organization. These transformations entailed
a move from a politicized location, in which direct negotiations
and debates dominate the process of decision-making, to
bureaucratic and judicial arenas where a legal logic dominates and
the citizens have little voice.
Subjects: Political Science
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