IILJ Working Paper 2019/1 (MegaReg Series)

The Essence, Significance, and Problems of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Benedict Kingsbury, David Malone, Paul Mertenskötter, Richard B. Stewart, Thomas Streinz, and Atsushi Sunami

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the first fully formed attempt at a new type of geopolitical and economic ordering project we call megaregulation. This introduction draws on the volume’s thirty further chapters to distill TPP’s essence and critically appraise its significance in the Asia-Pacific and beyond. TPP’s megaregulatory project uses the treaty-institutional form to open space for transnational business operations and prescribe liberal-type reforms of regulatory states and of their relations to markets. It also carries glimmers of a megaregionalism, but one largely lacking in imagination of a shared social or ecological future. TPP’s extensive coverage implicates, but TPP does not very much address, concerns over distribution, inequality, labor, environment, development, and national futures and nationalism which became more and more evident in national and international politics during and after the years of its negotiation. Drawing together themes from the book sheds some light on thinking about possible futures of economic ordering.

in Benedict Kingsbury, et al., Megaregulation Contested: Global Economic Ordering After TPP (OUP, 2019)