Économie politique

G19 - Global Political Economy & Trade in Agricultural Commodities

Date: Jun 14 | Heure: 01:45pm to 03:15pm | Salle:

Chair/Président/Présidente : Ulas Tastekin (McMaster University)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Michèle Rioux (Université du Québec à Montréal)

Wine Sector Regulation: A Case of What?: Patricia Goff (Wilfrid Laurier University), Leah Alvares Cabral (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Abstract: Why does the wine industry typically get special treatment from governments at the sub-national, national, and global levels? The wine sector enjoys measures that protect it from foreign competition in many national and sub-national jurisdictions. This is puzzling because the sector is no more important economically than some others that do not enjoy the same protections. Furthermore, the wine sector has been singled out at the global level. Article 22 of the World Trade Organization’s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) provides protections for geographical indications, those goods “where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.” These can include a range of foodstuffs and artisanal products, yet Article 23 singles out wines and spirits for a higher level of protection. Why would this be? This paper engages with literature on economic nationalism, regulatory capture, industrial policy, and international organizations to understand the multilevel politics of governance in the wine sector. Economic nationalism, regulatory capture, and industrial policy explanations do not normally explain outcomes at the global level. While they provide some insight into policies at the national and sub-national levels, they do not explain the variation in wine sector policies. This paper seeks to address these gaps.

A Standard-Setting Conundrum: Codex Alimentarius and the International Organization of Vine and Wine: Leah Alvares Cabral (Balsillie School of International Affairs (Wilfrid Laurier University))
Abstract: Organizations with power are reluctant to cede power to others. Why would the preeminent, UN sponsored, globally recognized authority on food standard-setting, Codex Alimentarius (Codex), defer to the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), a smaller, sectoral, international organization that does not even have universal membership? Scholarship in international relations suggests that it would not. However, in 1976, Codex made the decision not to produce standards on wine, and to this day cedes this power to the OIV. Not only does the OIV lack universal membership, missing notable countries such as Canada, USA, and China, but France and the EU exert a stronger influence on the organization. Furthermore, key characteristics make it difficult to categorize it as either a public or private governance organization. The unique qualities that should disqualify the OIV as a global standard setter have not hindered its role as a powerful actor and the recognized standard-setter for the wine sector. Theoretical literature on international organizations, such as legitimation theory, principal agent theory and orchestration theory cannot account for this. This paper will analyze a unique case of organizational relationships that are not yet well understood. In so doing, it fill theoretical and empirical gaps by addressing why an organization with both private and public attributes, that is sectoral and non-universal in membership, exercises influence where neither practitioners nor the academic literature would expect it to.

The Political Economy of Cannabis in the Caribbean: Jamaican Ganja Farmers fighting Extinctions: Toby Leon Moorsom (Carleton University)
Abstract: This paper exams the impacts of Canadian investments in Jamaican cannabis upon the livelihoods of small-scale farmers who, for at least 100 years, relied on the crop for essential supplementary income to provide basic needs. It provides an overview of the changing legal and regulatory framework as well as the wider, national political and economic conditions of the country in emerging global markets. With archival evidence I challenge accepted histories of the plant’s origins in Jamaica, and explain why farmers turned to the plant in the early 20th century. I then critically examine the “Alternative Development” projects initiated by the Jamaican Labour Party (contrary to the name; the party of big business) in government, and the alternative production and marketing models proposed by the opposition People's National Party. Both align on “nucleus-outgrower” schemes, which I critically evaluate in light of an expanding literature documenting experiences with such schemes in Africa. Finally, I examine alternative forms of trade not considered, and the applicability of agricultural marketing board strategies proposed by the Saint Lucian development economist Arthur Lewis between 1939 and 1960s. Lewis believed, in the Jamaican context, such boards should be financed in the initial years by British and American reparations payments. Jamaican growers, traders, and others in the industry, could benefit from considering the relevance of his arguments in this time. There are strong psychological, social, economic/developmental and environmental benefits to be gained from such an approach, while such a structure could also strengthen the long-term environmental security of an industry threatened by declining biodiversity.