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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Less developed countries and market access for manufactured exports : North-South bargaining and the quest for reform Finlayson, Jock A.


This study examines the evolution of international negotiations between the developed and developing countries in connection with the attempts of the latter to obtain improved access to the markets of the rich industrial countries for exports of manufactured products. The primary focus is on the bargaining which has taken place in two distinct institutional settings—the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Although the period covered by the study is the entire thirty-five years since the end of the Second World War, most of the discussion relates to the period since 1964, the year of UNGTAD's creation. In seeking to explain both the successes and failures of the developing countries in their efforts to obtain improved market access, use is made of several different analytical approaches currently employed by international relations scholars. A major concern of the study is to analyze how valuable or insightful these various approaches appear to be with respect to the particular case under examination here. Some schools of thought ascribe considerable bargaining power to relatively weak actors in international politics, but in case of manufactured exports the developing countries, who lack influence in this issue area, are shown to possess little leverage in negotiating for better access to the markets of developed economies. It is the vulnerability and weakness of developing countries that must be stressed in seeking to portray how they are situated in relation to this important area of international political and economic relations.

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