Standardizing the World: EU Trade Policy and the Road to Convergence

Duina, Francesco and Crina Viju-Miljusevic. 2023. Standardizing the World: EU Trade Policy and the Road to Convergence. Oxford University Press. The EU has pursued many trade pacts across the world. This is part of its foreign policy: as the third largest economy in the world and lacking hard power, the EU relies on trade agreements to project its interests. These are often complex and far-reaching initiatives that have the potential to shape not only economic but also political and social life in the EU and its trading partners. In Standardizing the World, Francesco Duina and Crina Viju-Miljusevic have gathered a group of leading experts to present an unprecedented assessment of the EU’s efforts to standardize a wide array of economic, political, and social aspects of life through its trade agreements across the globe. Drawing on economic sociology and constructivist strands in international political economy, the volume examines what is being standardized, the extent to which the EU has been able to project its worldviews, and what explains the observable patterns of standardization across policy areas and geographies. Ten leading scholars from across the world offer as many chapters on EU agreements with all major trading partners and cover efforts in social and labor rights, the environment, investments, rule of law and anti-corruption, agriculture and food quality, services, public procurement, sustainable development, and more. Their findings paint a picture of a dynamic EU capable of projecting its worldviews across the globe that is nonetheless not always consistent or successful. Standardizing the World provides a wide-ranging and rigorous understanding of standardization in trade agreement as well as the EU’s abilities to project its power and worldviews across the globe.