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date: 20 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Domestic political interests and institutions are important determinants of international trade dispute processes. Domestic politics affects the inclusion and design of dispute settlement procedures (DSPs) in trade agreements. In particular, DSPs enhance the flexibility of the trade regime, permitting leaders to offer temporary, tolerated protection for politically influential industries. Regime type, leader turnover, and other political phenomena affect the patterns of use of DSPs once in place, as well as the patterns of outcomes and likelihood of settlement of disputes. Finally, the information generated by the DSPs is shown to feed back and affect the domestic politics of the signatory states in ways not unanticipated by the leaders who negotiated these agreements in the first place.

Keywords: domestic politics, trade disputes, flexibility, regime type, leader turnover, dispute settlement, temporary protection

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