Oxford Ideas Institutions And Trade

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Example text

Therefore, in Chapter 6, we ask as our third question: In what way has the ideational underpinning of the URAA influenced EU agricultural policy institutions and CAP reform? The causal relationship between CAP reform and WTO agreements on agriculture is not unidirectional. The evolution of the CAP influenced in turn developments in the WTO, enabling further liberalization in agricultural trade. Due to the comparatively limited competitiveness of the EU agricultural sector and the EU’s institutionally constrained ability to undertake CAP reform, the CAP sets limits for agricultural trade liberalization within the WTO.

However, some rational choice analysts have ascribed more prominent roles to ideas in explaining policy change.

The second defining feature of agricultural exceptionalism is that the farming sector ‘contributes to broader national interests and goals’ (Skogstad 1998: 468). A secure and safe food supply, and stable and reasonable food prices, are highly valued. In the agricultural exceptionalist view, unregulated markets will fail to deliver these valued objectives in food supply. The importance of food security to the world’s high-income developed economies decreased during the second half of the twentieth century as a result of changes in the technology of war, the globalization of food supply chains, the international acceptability of global currencies together with the purchasing power of high-income economies, and major productivity gains in agriculture and the food supply chain (Swinbank 1992).

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