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Title: The GATS regulatory challenges and the New Governance approaches
Author: Zehra, Samina Taslim
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 2841
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis recommends a shift in the regulatory paradigm of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). GATS relies on binding legal disciplines for governing the multilateral services trade. The thesis argues that this is not an entirely appropriate approach in view of the peculiar nature of the services trade, and may have been the cause of the negligible services trade gains to date. The services trade rule-making in GATS is currently guided by the view that its legal disciplines need to be further strengthened. These disciplines mainly pertain to domestic regulatory measures which affect the services trade. The thesis however supports the argument that more flexible regulatory approaches are better suited to the governance of the multilateral services trade. Drawing some lessons for improving the GATS framework in these terms, the thesis carries out a case study of the financial services trade liberalization in the EU. This case study reveals the use of regulatory innovations in EU governance to make it more effective. Such regulatory innovations are sometimes termed as ‘New Governance’ approaches. They are flexible, deliberative and participatory in nature, and do not rely on binding legal mechanisms. Thus they offer greater potential for protecting EU Members’ regulatory autonomy, whilst executing its trade liberalization agenda. The thesis explores the possibility of utilizing similar approaches in GATS governance. It makes recommendations for improving GATS effectiveness through balancing its trade liberalization objectives with the WTO Members’ domestic regulatory autonomy. A change in the GATS regulatory outlook is seen as a tool to achieve this purpose, with more flexible approaches to governance being a step towards this goal.
Supervisor: Reid, Emily Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available