Export regulation, import safety? EU public and private motivations to influence China’s food safety regulation

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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10900/83009
Dokumentart: PhDThesis
Date: 2018-07-09
Language: English
Faculty: 6 Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Department: Politikwissenschaft
Advisor: Abels, Gabriele (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2017-12-11
DDC Classifikation: 300 - Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
320 - Political science
330 - Economics
380 - Commerce, communications and transportation
630 - Agriculture and related technologies
Keywords: Politische Wissenschaft , Politische Steuerung , Regulierung , China , Europäische Union , Lebensmittelsicherheit , Risiko , Internationale Politik , Politiktransfer , Welthandel , Handelspolitik , Internationale Norm , Globalisierung , Transnationale Politik , Nichtstaatliche Organisation , Risikogesellschaft , Lebensmittel , Ernährung
Other Keywords:
International Regulation
Regulatory Politics
Regulatory Regimes
Food Safety
European Union
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The globalization of food production has increased the probability for markets to import unsafe food. Against this backdrop, in December 2001 China joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO). With this step the country effectively became part of the globalized food production. This study analyses how the European Union (EU) – understood as an entity comprising public as well as private actors – responded to this challenge. More specifically, the objective is to understand the motivation behind the EU’s observed activities to influence China’s food safety regulation. Two hypotheses are deduced from theories of regulatory interdependence. The first assumes a supply safety hypothesis. With its massive food safety problems, China quickly posed risks to global food safety and thus also to EU’s food safety. This happened at a time, when the EU itself had reinforced its food safety regulation with a stronger focus on consumer interests. Any influence by EU actors on China’s food safety regulation thus could be the result of heightened import safety concerns. The second hypothesis offers an alternative explanation. China presents an attractive export market for EU companies. Although lagging behind the internationally established benchmark for safety, China’s food safety regulation still potentially created market entry barriers for EU food exports. Activities to influence China’s food safety regulation hence could be based on the interest to reduce such regulatory barriers to trade. Based on a mechanistic understanding of causality and the method of process tracing, this study specifies which combination of both motivations explains the observed activities by EU actors to influence China’s food safety regulation between 2001 and 2014.

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