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The Ashgate Research Companion to International Trade Policy

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Kenneth Heydon and Stephen Woolcock (eds)
Ashgate (July 2012)

This volume provides a state of the art review of current thinking on the full range of trade policy issues, addressing the economic and political dimensions of international trade policy.

The volume contains a systematic examination of:

  • specific trade policy instruments (such as tariffs, non-tariff barriers and trade rules)
  • sectoral concerns (in agriculture, manufacturing and services)
  • trade linkages (to issues such as the environment and labour standards)
  • systemic considerations (what role for the WTO?)

The organising theme of the volume is that open markets for trade and investment yield large potential gains in human welfare as long as trade policy is conducted as an integral part of broader domestic economic management and regulatory reform, and as long as the particular challenges facing developing countries are effectively addressed. This 'case' is presented on the basis of rigorous analysis of first principles and of empirical experience among key trading nations.

An integrated set of original and comprehensive perspectives from a diverse group of experts, linked by a common organisational thread. The contributing authors create an ideal mix of internationally recognised experts together with younger specialists making their mark in trade policy analysis; academics as well as trade policy practitioners; and representatives of both developed and developing countries.

  • Kenneth Heydon is a guest teacher in the Department of International Relations at LSE.
  • Dr Stephen Woolcock is a lecturer in the Department of International Relations at LSE.

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‘This book is as timely as it is thoughtful. Turmoil in today’s global economic environment is adding to the pressure from well-established special interests to turn away from trade liberalization in favor of new and old forms of protectionism. The authors point to the fallacy of such a backward looking approach and make a strong case in favor of open markets. At the same time they correctly emphasize that trade liberalization alone is insufficient to ensure widespread and inclusive growth. By highlighting explicitly the essential role of complementary policies, from active labor market to social protection measures, the authors illustrate how the potential created by more open markets can be turned into reality for workers and for firms, both in developing and developed economies. This is what really matters in all economic activity, human progress; and this is what we very much need today.’
Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

'…an indispensable guide to the current state of world trade policy and the arguments surrounding it. The various contributions are carefully selected not merely to cover the various aspects and areas of trade policy but to lucidly present a full picture of a fascinating subject. It raises the question as to how we now find ourselves facing the failure of the Doha Development Round with the consequential damage to the system that the World Trade Organisation embodies. I found it truly excellent.'
Peter D Sutherland KCMG, former Director-General of GATT & the WTO

'This book's emphasis on the importance of trade is extremely timely in view of pressures for trade protectionism following the 2007–9 global financial crisis. Unlike most edited works on trade, the book provides an integrated and comprehensive approach to the most significant aspects of international trade relations. The highly readable chapters by both acknowledged experts and upcoming academics and practitioners will be very useful for students, faculty, those involved with governments, international organizations and NGOs, and others interested in trade and trade-related issues.'
Theodore Cohn, Simon Fraser University, Canada


The Ashgate Research Companion to International Trade Policy