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Extra resources for A Social Theory of the WTO: Trading Cultures

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In focusing on the regulatory aspect of regime norms they ignore the processes through which the trading regime works, specifically, the way in which the regime constructs states' interests and identities. Not only do these theories underestimate the change associated with the shift from the GAIT to the WTO, they underestimate the way in which new norms changed the distribution of influence in trade matters. In contradistinction, social theory finds that the trading regime is a structure of collectively held ideas.

346, 347). Thus, hegemons eventually become poorly adapted to the international system and so their relative power erodes. HegemoniC states ultimately fail to adapt to the successful practices of rival states (Hobson, 2000, p. 43). " Neorealists predicted the decline of the multilateral trading regime with the decline of US hegemony prior to the Uruguay Round. As I will explain in Chapter 3, neorealists suggested that the rise of American unilateralism during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s was a sign that its power was dissipating.

Gradually, regimes can change the way states interpret anarchy through a process of behavioral learning. Over time states learn cooperative behavior which is appropriate to a social realm rather than a predatory realm (Axelrod and Keohane, 1985, p. 4 While regimes embody generalized norms of obligation, they also often incorporate forms of punishment for cheating. This is particularly effective in trade matters. As Judith Goldstein explains: 'GATT rules were appropriate because they assuaged the fears of potential regime participants that Theorizing the Uruguay Round 21 they would receive the "Sucker's Payoff" if they lowered tariff barriers' (Goldstein, 1993, p.

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