Farmers versus ideas: explaining the continuity in French agricultural trade policy during the GATT Uruguay Round
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceJournal of European Public Policy, 21, 2, (2014), pp. 286-302
31 oktober 2013
Article / Letter to editor
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Politicologie t/m 2019
Journal of European Public Policy
SubjectDistributional Conflicts in a Globalizing World: Consequences for State-Market-Civil Society Arrangements
France's protectionist position regarding agricultural trade is often claimed to result from French farm lobby influence. This article challenges such established claims, based on an analysis of French decision-making on the agricultural chapter of the GATT Uruguay Round. Farm lobby pressure cannot fully explain French policies, as governments often went against farmers' preferences and the level of pressure varied substantially, while there was continuity in French protectionist governmental preferences on agricultural trade. Instead, this article will show that ideational variables played a major role in explaining the continuity in French protectionist positions. While farm lobby pressure and economic pay-offs varied over the course of the GATT negotiations, French ideas concerning its identity as la Grande Nation with a presence in world agricultural markets, leading a strong Europe as a counterweight to the United States, were a stable factor that guided French position-taking against the liberalization of agricultural markets.
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