Andreas Dür, of the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, is one of the professors associated with the Jean Monnet Network on Transatlantic Trade Politics. His scholarly work focuses on trade policy, interest group politics, and European integration. Alongside Markus Gastinger, he prepared Joint Bodies in Preferential Trade Agreements: Why Are Some Stronger Than Others?, a paper related to their presentation at The Political Economy of International Organization Seminar Series.
The article’s abstract is as follows:
Many international agreements include joint bodies (JBs) that provide a stable institutional framework for government-to-government interactions during agreement implementation. Focusing on preferential trade agreements (PTAs), we find that 95 percent of all PTAs set up such JBs. Still, far from being uniform, these JBs vary significantly in their strength. To explain this variation, we argue that democracies establish stronger JBs due to higher levels of trust between democracies and the need to forge broader domestic coalitions. This relationship breaks down where PTAs bring together more states, thus increasing the functional case for stronger JBs. It also breaks down in asymmetric negotiations, as powerful states are less concerned with implementation. Drawing on an original dataset of 665 PTAs signed between 1948 and 2020, we find robust support for our argument. The findings speak to research on international cooperation, the design of international institutions, PTAs, and the political economy of trade.