Not even many experts realize it, but Europe's single market enforces stronger rules for cross-border openness than the United States does across its fifty states. SINGLEMARKETS proposes a first-of-its-kind comparison of how Europeans and Americans perceive the political trade-offs surrounding internal-market openness.
SINGLEMARKETS begins from a revision of common wisdom about the world's two largest single markets. Europe's 'single market project' (SMP) is widely seen as an incomplete effort to imitate America's barrier-free economy. This description is wrong on both sides. The EU has removed many barriers to cross-border exchange that persist between American states, like varying standards for goods, duplicative licensing requirements, and discriminatory public contracts and subsidies. Americans still trade and move more across states than Europeans do, but they do so despite many regulatory impediments - not because the US ever 'completed' a barrier-removing project like the SMP.
Rather than two points along the same road to market openness, these polities display different choices about trade-offs in single-market governance:
• economic trade-offs about the benefits of uniform rules versus regulatory competition;
• democratic trade-offs about rights to mobility and openness versus citizens’ attachments to autonomy or border control;
• federal trade-offs about respect for diverse identities versus values of unity.
SINGLEMARKETS investigates who endorses or opposes the choices embedded in these regimes for internal openness, and why. It will generate comparable data about attitudes of citizens, business, and officials; test competing theories to explain responses; and engage normative debates about political economy, democracy, and federalism. Answers to these questions matter not only because single-market rules affect opportunities for people on both continents, but also because these regimes influence other national and regional arrangements around the world.
SINGLEMARKETS proposes a first-of-its-kind comparison of political attitudes about internal-market governance in the European Union and the United States. Remarkably little research compares the contemporary politics of the world’s two largest single markets. This neglect relates to an ill-explored presumption—widespread in scholarship and political discourse—that they rest on similar principles, depicting the EU’s “Single Market project” (SMP) as an “incomplete” imitation of a barrier-free US market.
This common wisdom is deeply misleading. European countries already face much stronger requirements to accept out-of-state goods, service providers, workers, and financial firms than do US states. US interstate trade and mobility remain higher than in Europe, but these social flows go on despite interstate barriers in standards, licensing, discriminatory contracts and aid, social regulation, and more—not because the US ever undertook a barrier-reducing regulatory project like the SMP.
Today, then, EU and US regulation appear to institutionalize quite different choices about the political trade-offs of single-market governance: political-economic trade-offs about uniform rules versus regulatory experimentation and competition, democratic trade-offs between rights to mobility and openness versus citizens’ attachments to autonomy or border control, and federal trade-offs between respect for diverse identities versus values of unity.
We will take the first major steps to investigate the politics behind these major political-economic outcomes, asking: who endorses or opposes the choices embedded in the US and EU regimes for internal market openness? Why, and so what? We will generate comparable data about attitudes of citizens, business, and officials in surveys and interviews; test a wide range of competing theories to explain responses; and engage observed attitudes with normative debates about political economy, democracy, and federalism.
UTENRIKS-Internasjonale forhold - utenriks- og sikkerhetspolitikk og norske interesser