Cover image for Interpreting NAFTA : the science and art of political analysis
Interpreting NAFTA : the science and art of political analysis
Mayer, Frederick.
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Publication Information:
New York : Columbia University Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xiv, 374 pages ; 24 cm
Electronic Access:
Table of contents

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HF1746 .M338 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The free trade agreement between the United States and Mexico was initially negotiated in 1990 and final ratified in 1993, even though it faced intense US public opposition during this period. Fears of losing American jobs and national sovereignty, and concerns about exploitation of Mexican workers and the environment brought together a coalition that included labour unions, environmental groups, and such unlikely allies as Ross Perot, Jesse Jackson and Pat Buchanan. Only through a co-ordinated series of concessions and an intense campaign to reassure the public was the North American Free Trade Agreement finally ratified by Congress.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Mayer has produced an excellent political economy treatise on the conceptualization and launch of the North American Free Trade Agreement--probably the definitive treatment of the subject available today. He begins with a framework of political analysis into which NAFTA is set as a major economic and political initiative, together with its underlying justification in the theory of economic integration and its foundation in hard-fought American domestic politics. He then covers in fine detail the actual negotiations, focusing on Mexico, and the political dimensions on both sides, pitting economic interests against each other in a fairly predictable way (according to international trade theory) but with plenty of unpredictability as each interest group jockeyed to achieve political influence. Much of this was reflected in the debates on fair labor practices and environmental protection. The final two chapters concern the ratification process and a worthwhile political diagnosis of the outcome. Political scientists will value this volume for its strong foundation in the concepts of modern international relations, while economists will value it for broadening their horizons on the complexities and realities of international trade negotiations. Excellent bibliography. Highly recommended for college and university libraries. I. Walter; New York University

Table of Contents

1 Introduction
2 A Framework for Political Analysis
3 Why a North American Free Trade Agreement?
Interpreting the Decision to Negotiate
The Uses and Limits of International Theory
4 Domestic Politics Matters: The Fast Track Fight
Interpreting the Domestic Politics of Decision
The Role of Institutions and Interests
5 Two-Level Bargaining: The NAFTA Negotiation
Interpreting International Negotiations
Domestic Politics and International Bargaining
6 Making Side Issues Central: The Labor and Environment Negotiations
Interpreting the Side Negotiations: Issue Linkage, Deep Nesting, and the Political Context
7 Symbolic Politics: Growing Grassroots Opposition
Interpreting Grassroots Opposition
The Markets for Meaning
8 Diagnosis and Strategy: The Campaign for NAFTA
Interpreting the Victory
Political Diagnosis and Political Strategy
9 Conclusions