Agriculture, Price Stabilisation and Trade Rules

A Principled Approach


In Agriculture, Price Stabilisation and Trade Rules, Irene Musselli offers a comprehensive doctrinal and historical analysis of stabilisation tools and approaches in agriculture. Using her extensive practical experience in the field, she takes up the interface of the tools discussed with trade rules and offers the first comprehensive analysis of WTO rules from the perspective of stabilisation policies. This volume offers a fresh look at the tool box of managed trade in agricultural commodities and develops new and refined solutions that take into account the legal role of equity and of graduation. Musselli offers new insights and is able to invigorate a debate caught in overly ideological entanglements between market oriented and interventionist schools.
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EUR €135.00USD $156.00

Biographical Note

Irene Musselli, Ph.D. (2016), University of Bern, is senior researcher at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern. Before joining the CDE, she was programme officer at UNCTAD, where she worked extensively on strategies and policies to respond to the challenges of commodity markets, with a particular focus on agriculture.

Table of contents

Series Editor Foreword Preface List of Abbreviations 1 Introduction  1.1 Scoping the Research  1.2 Agricultural Price Stabilisation: Why Does it Matter   1.2.1  The Inherent Volatility of Agricultural Commodity Prices   1.2.2  Socio-economic Costs of Agricultural Price Volatility in Poor Countries   1.2.3  The Need for Regulatory Responses  1.3 Research Design and Method   1.3.1  Research Outline   1.3.2  Interdisciplinary Aspects and Legal Approaches   1.3.3  Information Sources  1.4 Shortfalls and Reach of this Inquiry 2 Setting the Stage: Key Concepts and Issues  2.1 Agricultural Price Stabilisation: Unpacking the Notion   2.1.1  Agricultural Commodities   2.1.2  Agricultural Price Instability   2.1.3  Assessment  2.2 Agricultural Price Stabilisation Arrangements: An Overview   2.2.1  International Schemes   2.2.2  Domestic Schemes   2.2.3  Assessment  2.3 Agricultural Price Stabilisation and Trade Rules: Seizing the Interface   2.3.1  The Regulatory Framework   2.3.2  International Schemes   2.3.3  Domestic Arrangements   2.3.4  Assessment 3 A Historical Review of Multilaterally Agreed Criteria for Action on Commodity Prices (1947–1989)  3.1 A Descriptive Account: Havana, Geneva and Nairobi   3.1.1  The Havana Charter Framework   3.1.2  gatt Discussions (1954–1955 Review Session)   3.1.3  unctad’s ipc (1964–1989)  3.2 Objectives and Principles of Multilateral Action on Commodity Prices   3.2.1  A Textual and Contextual Reading   3.2.2  State Practice and Attitudes   3.2.3  Assessment 4 From Market Intervention to Free Trade and Back to Managed Trade? (1989–2011)  4.1 The Market-based Interlude (1989–2007)   4.1.1  The ‘Neoliberal’ Agenda: Trade Policy Implications   4.1.2  The Extent of Policy Reform in Commodities   4.1.3  Which Orientation for the wto Agreement on Agriculture?   4.1.4  Assessment  4.2 Towards Re-regulation? The 2007–08 and 2010–11 Commodity Crises   4.2.1  Recent Price Developments in Commodity Markets   4.2.2  Trade Rules and Commodity Prices: Trade Policy Trajectories   4.2.3  Assessment 5 Beyond the Impasse: Towards a New Normative Approach  5.1 The Framework Outlined   5.1.1  Conceptual Underpinnings and Legal Bases   5.1.2  Normative Goals   5.1.3  Operational Principles  5.2 Testing the Framework: A Reassessment of Key Trade Policy Issues in the Stabilisation Debate   5.2.1  Public Food Purchases at Administered Prices   5.2.2  Price Band Systems (pbs)   5.2.3  Commodity Marketing Boards   5.2.4  Export Restrictions   5.2.5  Concerted Price Action  5.3 Implementation Avenues   5.3.1  Litigation   5.3.2  Law-making and Negotiations   5.3.3  Assessment 6 Conclusion  6.1 Domestic Stabilisation Policies  6.2 Intergovernmental Commodity Control Agreements Appendix 1: Product Coverage, Agricultural ICAs Appendix 2: Ranking of Economies by Agricultural Export Dependence Appendix 3: Major Commodity Control Arrangements, by Product Appendix 4: CAP Developments: An Overview Appendix 5: US Farm Bills: A Snapshot Bibliography Index


All interested in agricultural trade rules and policy, including trade diplomats, international organisations, advocacy groups, trade scholars in academia and advanced students in international economic law.


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