Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Breaking gridlock: how path dependent layering enhances resilience in global trade governance

Faude, Benjamin (2020) Breaking gridlock: how path dependent layering enhances resilience in global trade governance. Global Policy, 11 (4). pp. 448-457. ISSN 1758-5880

[img] Text (Breaking gridlock) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (500kB)

Identification Number: 10.1111/1758-5899.12822


What are the implications of the proliferating preferential trade agreements (PTAs) for the liberal trade order? Many scholars and practitioners see large increases in PTAs as a destabilizing factor that undermines core features of the post-war international trade system. By contrast, this paper argues that the accelerated growth of PTAs since the mid-1990s enhances the resilience of the liberal trade order. PTAs increase the ability of the order to accommodate heterogeneous preferences and distributive conflicts. They represent a continuation of a longer path of liberalization set in motion by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). This path-dependent development created conditions for a gradual expansion of the membership and the regulatory scope of the GATT/WTO system, but also heightened levels of preference heterogeneity and distributive conflicts. By enabling groups of states with homogenous preferences to layer new rules on top of the multilateral GATT/WTO system, PTAs enable the continuation of the liberalization path. Consequently, PTAs have served as complements rather than to undermine the WTO.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2020 08:18
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2023 01:00

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics