Why Hollywood lost the Uruguay Round : the political economy of mass communication revisited
In this dissertation I examine the reasons why the U.S. film industry lost the GATT-Uruguay Round negotiations on audiovisual services and intellectual property rights (IPRs) related to copyright. I revisit the political economy approach to communication and implement Mosco's (1996) suggestions on the approach's renewal. Mosco notes that political economists of communication thematically view the state as supporting transnational business (1996, p. 94). However, Jarvie's (1992) analysis of the relationship between the U.S. government and film industry between 1920 and 1950 suggests that this 'support' theme does not adequately capture the often antagonistic and unproductive relationship between the two parties. I extend Jarvie's (1992) work by developing themes from his scholarship and applying them to a case study on the Uruguay Round. I review the literature on the media-cultural imperialism thesis and focus on Herbert Schiller's (1969 , 1976, 1989) scholarship. Schiller's thesis implies that outcomes in international relations are dictated by domestic determinants such as the influence of corporate lobbyists. However, I argue that the reasons why Hollywood lost lie not in domestic determinants alone, but in a broader perspective (derived from the discipline of international relations) that focuses on the interaction between domestic trade politics and international relations (Putnam, 1988 ). Putnam characterises international negotiations as an interactive process involving the bargaining between negotiators and the separate discussions each delegation has with constituents in its domestic market on the ratification of the agreement. I assess themes from Jarvie's work and propositions from Schiller's thesis using Putnam's (1988 ) two-level analysis and empirical evidence from primary documents and thirty-five interviews conducted over a three-year period (1994 to 1997) with U.S. and European negotiators and film executives. I argue that U.S. domestic trade politics hampered efforts by U.S. negotiators to reach a bilateral accord on audiovisual services and IPRs related to copyright because of linkages forged by EU Member States between progress in those talks and progress in talks on agriculture, maritime transport services, geographic indications related to wines and anti-dumping. A second obstacle to a bilateral accord was an influential hawkish minority of the Hollywood lobby, who set an aggressive agenda for U.S. negotiators and set off a chain reaction in the final moments of the Round that led to Hollywood's defeat. Finally, I present an alternative scenario to the argument (cf. Waregne, 1994; Dehousse and Havelange, 1994; Joachimowicz and Berenboom, 1994) that the French government dictated the outcome of the audiovisual services and IPRs negotiations. My scenario emphasises the preeminent status of the General Affairs Council, the role of EU Member States other than France, and Commission efforts to forge a bilateral deal. In the end, the hawks dictated the outcome of the audiovisual services talks, while a majority of EU Member States dictated the outcome of the talks on IPRs related to copyright.