Linkage Theory and the Global-Multilevel System: Multilateral, Regional and Bilateral Trade Negotiations

Larry Crump
Griffith University

June 15, 2009

22nd Annual IACM Conference Paper

Abstract:

Linkage theory (the way one negotiation influences or determines the process or outcome of another) can effectively explain the relationship between a negotiation and its relevant environment. This study examines how external events grounded in multilateral, regional or bilateral environments influence negotiation process and outcome. Linkages between four trade negotiations are investigated: the WTO Doha round (multilateral); EU-Mercosur (regional); EU-Chile (bilateral); and US-Chile (bilateral). This study is able to extend understanding about issue linkages and two-level games by developing a theoretical framework that defines the known universe of linkage dynamics. The controlling influence of multilateral negotiations on regional, but not bilateral, negotiations is of particular interest, as is the use of a bilateral-multilateral linkage strategy by nation-states in pursuing geopolitical ends.

Linkage Theory and the Global-Multilevel System- Multilateral, Regional and Bilateral Trade Negotiations

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