Cloth $66.50 ISBN: 9780226050539 Published August 2013
Paper $24.50 ISBN: 9780226050676 Published August 2013
E-book $7.00 to $24.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226050706 Published August 2013

Global Rivalries

Standards Wars and the Transnational Cotton Trade

Amy A. Quark

Amy A. Quark

312 pages | 19 line drawings, 12 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2013
Cloth $66.50 ISBN: 9780226050539 Published August 2013
Paper $24.50 ISBN: 9780226050676 Published August 2013
E-book $7.00 to $24.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226050706 Published August 2013
As the economies of China, India, and other Asian nations continue to grow, these countries are seeking greater control over the rules that govern international trade. Setting the rules carries with it the power to establish advantage, so it’s no surprise that everyone wants a seat at the table—or that negotiations over rules often result in stalemates at meeting of the World Trade Organization.

Nowhere is the conflict over rule setting more evident than in the simmering “standards wars” over the rules that define quality and enable the adjudication of disputes. In Global Rivalries, Amy A. Quark explores the questions of how rules are made, who makes them, and how they are enforced, using the lens of cotton—a simple commodity that has become a poignant symbol of both the crisis of Western rule making power and the potential for powerful new rivals to supplant it. Quark traces the strategies for influencing rule making processes employed not only by national governments but also by transnational corporations, fiber scientists, and trade associations from around the globe. Quark analyzes the efficacy of their approaches and the implications for more marginal actors in the cotton trade, including producers in West Africa.

By placing the current contest within the historical development of the global capitalist system, Global Rivalries highlights a fascinating interaction of politics and economics.

American Sociological Association: ASA-Global and Transnational Sociology Section Award
Won

American Sociological Association: ASA-Sociology of Development Book Award
Honorable Mention

View Recent Awards page for more award winning books.
Susan K. Sell, George Washington University
“With Global Rivalries, Amy A. Quark offers a fascinating account of the evolution of standards setting in the international cotton trade, bringing this seemingly technocratic but intensely political process to life without sacrificing careful and erudite scholarship. More importantly, she shows convincingly that these issues matter greatly in an increasingly global marketplace.”
Nitsan Chorev, Brown University
“A transition from one hegemonic power to another today is less likely to be an outcome of a geopolitical shock and more likely to come through the renegotiation of existing rules. With Global Rivalries, Amy A. Quark portrays more clearly and effectively than any other analysis I’ve read so far how the interplay between the newcomers, who try to introduce new institutions but are dependent on the institutions already in place, and the old-timers, who try to protect the existing institutions but must pacify the challengers, leads to new global institutions that are inevitably hybrid.”
Politics and Policy, LSE Review
“Nearly every area of our economic and political life has its own arcane-sounding set of global institutions, the product of its particular needs and historical development. It takes time to understand the minutiae, but often the quirks and conflicts can be fascinating. Cotton fibre standard-setting is a good example, as Quark’s Global Rivalries illustrates. . . . Here we have a fascinating historical account of how these institutions have developed. . . .  This is a useful contribution to broader debates about global governance in an era of emerging market power.”
China Quarterly
“This fascinating book is of great interest to scholars interested in China’s evolving position within the global economy, as well as to those studying institutional theory in general. Standards are a pervasive phenomenon in the modern economy, yet they have received only limited scholarly attention. Institutional economists have long argued that standards exist because they lower transaction costs. But this leaves important questions unanswered: how do standards come about and which (or whose) standards prevail? Quark addresses these questions in an intriguing case. . . . The book will be read with much interest by scholars of China’s economy and international political economy.”
Contents
List of Acronyms

Acknowledgments

Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: Standards Wars and the Original Competing Kings of Cotton

Chapter Three: A Project of Uneven Liberalization

Chapter Four: The World Trade Organization and the New Competing Kings of Cotton

Chapter Five: Imitate and Overtake?

Chapter Six: Switching Tracks

Chapter Seven: Conclusion

Notes

References

Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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