Trade, Globalization and Sustainability Impact Assessment: A Critical Look at Methods and Outcomes

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Trade liberalization, as promoted by the World Trade Organization (WTO), has become one of the dominant drivers and most controversial aspects of globalization. Trade sustainability impact assessments (SIAs) were introduced as a means of generating better understanding especially of the social and environmental impacts of trade liberalisation, and of making those impacts more consistent with sustainable development.

This book takes a hard look at the experience of Trade SIAs to date, and the extent to which they have achieved their objectives and improved the outcomes of trade negotiations. It proposes several ways in which Trade SIAs could be made more effective, and illustrates these in respect of controversial sectors in which trade liberalisation has been implemented or proposed, including commodities, services and investment. Finally the book makes proposals beyond SIA through which some of the conflicts between trade liberalization and sustainable development could be more effectively addressed.

Written by top researchers and experts on trade SIAs, this book is vital for researchers, academics, post-graduate students and policy makers working on any aspect of impact assessment, international trade or globalisation more generally. In addition, the book will provide a particularly useful background for those considering how the environment and trade interrelate at both global and regional levels, with some particular insights on climate change and trade policies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Paul Ekins and colleagues throw much needed light on why trade won't work unless sustainability is built in. We must now work with urgency to get these findings built into the global negotiations.'
Dr Camilla Toulmin, Director, International Institute for Environment and Development

'This book offers an expert and timely analysis of a key tool in EU trade policy - the sustainability impact assessment...[it] sheds much-needed light on the relationship between trade and development, demonstrates that it is far more complex than EU policy allows for, and makes innovative proposals for change.'
Dr. Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP for South East England, The European Parliament

'This book makes a significant contribution to the field of impact assessment by critically examining the application of trade sustainability impact assessments over the last decade and suggesting ways that such assessments could be more effective in shaping negotiations.'
Hussein Abaza, Chief, Economics and Trade Branch, United Nations Environment Programme

'An in depth look at trade and the need for sustainability to figure high up on the agenda.'
The Environmentalist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844076611
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/28/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Ekins is Professor of Energy and Environment Policy at King's College, London. Tancrède Voituriez is a Research officer at CIRAD and Program manager for 'Global Governance' at IDDRI in Paris, France.

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Table of Contents

Overview and General Introduction

Part 1: The Context: Trade, SIAs and Development

1: Trade-Induced Changes in Economic Inequality : Assessment Issues and Policy Implications for Developing Countries

2: Why did 'Development' Entrap the Doha Round?

3: Have Sustainability Impact Assessment of Trade Agreements Delivered on 'Development' Issues: A Reflexive Analysis of the Emergence and Main Contributions of Trade SIAs

Part II:The New Challenges of Trade Liberalisation: Beyond SIA

4: Trade Sias and the New Challenges of Trade Liberalisation

5: Investment: The Context Matters

6: Sustainability Impacts of Liberalising Trade in Services: Assessment Methodologies and Policy Responses

7: The Impacts of Liberalising Trade in Commodities

8: The Potential Role for Collective Preferences in Determining the Rules of the International Traading System

Part III: Breaking the Impasse: the national policy framework

9: Improving Public Participation in Sustainability Impact Assessments of Trade Agreements

10: Identifying trade victims

11: Trade-Induced Changes in Labour Market Inequalities: Current Findings and Policy Implications

12: The Value of Value Chains: Spreading the Gains from Liberalization

Part IV: International cooperation

13: Collective Preferences and International Compensation

14: Reducing the Impacts of the Production and Trade in Commodities

15: The Trade and Environment Relationships Reconsidered: The Case of Regional Trade and Climate Change


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