Bagabo, Paul Wambi (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The thesis analyses commitment to the EAC customs union protocol. In contrast to previous studies, this research compares state preferences at the negotiation stage with their adherence to each provision in the protocol during the transposition, enforcement and application stages of the protocol.
Based on data from fifty semi-structured interviews plus secondary sources, the analysis reveals that partner states are more successful at adhering to the customs related- than trade related provisions in the protocol. Drawing on enforcement, management and constructivist approaches in integration literature, the research identifies three factors that explain inadequate commitment by partner states: the weakness of the EAC secretariat’s monitoring and sanctioning system, strategic preferences of partner states to protect domestic business interests, and overlapping membership to multiple regional arrangements with different rules which affects adequate interpretation and compliance with the protocol.
The findings call for more attention to the concept of ‘completeness’ of transposition and show that a disaggregated level of analysis that takes the preferences of partner states at the negotiation stage into consideration better accounts for the inadequate commitment to regional directives. The findings call for larger multi-sectoral case studies and include assessment of the design of regional arrangements.
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