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Thursday 27 April 2017, 17:00 - 18:30

Trade Agreements, Regulatory Sovereignty and Democratic Legitimacy
A special talk organised by the UCL Centre for Law and Governance in Europe

Speaker: Professor Charles Sabel, Columbia Law School
Chair: Professor Piet Eeckhout, UCL Laws

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About the talk
Governments increasingly are using bilateral and regional trade agreements to reduce the cost-increasing effects of differences in product market regulation. They also pursue regulatory cooperation independent of trade agreements. An important question in this regard is to understand what in fact is being done through bilateral or plurilateral mechanisms to address regulatory differences, and what, if any, the potential role is of trade agreements in supporting regulatory cooperation. This paper reflects on experience to date in regulatory cooperation and the provisions of recent trade agreements involving Canada, the EU and the US – advanced economies that have included regulatory cooperation in trade agreements with each other. We argue for a re-thinking by trade officials of the modalities and design of trade negotiations and the incorporation of institutional mechanisms into trade agreements that draw on insights of experimentalist governance approaches to enhance the scope for regulatory cooperation. This need not be limited to bilateral trade agreements; elements of such mechanisms can also be adopted at the multilateral (WTO) level.

About the speaker
Charles F. Sabel is the Maurice T. Moore Professor of Law and Social Science at Columbia Law School, a post he has held since 1995. He was formerly the Ford International Professor of Social Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His most recent publications include Contract and Innovation: The Limited Role of Generalist Courts in the Evolution of Novel Contractual Forms, with Ronald J. Gilson and Robert E. Scott (New York University Law Review), New Modes of Pluralist Global Governance, with Gráinne de Búrca and Robert O. Keohane (Journal of International Law and Politics), Rethinking the Street-Level Bureaucrat: Tacit and Deliberate Ways Organizations Can Learn (Economy in Society: essays in honor of Michael J. Piore, MIT Press: 113-142), Dewey, Democracy and Democratic Experimentalism (Contemporary Pragmatism, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2012), and Experimentalism in the EU: Common ground and persistent differences, with Jonathan Zeitlin, (Regulation & Governance, Vol. 6, 2012, pp. 410 – 426).