S'affronter pour réguler : le conflit transatlantique sur le boeuf aux hormones dans l'organisation internationale du commerce agroalimentaire.

Abstract : The goal of this work is to understand how deep the commercial war between North America and Europe regarding the use of growth hormones in food-producing animals impacted institutional history of global food trade regulation. Between 1980 and the contemporary period (2016), several crises revealed the atypical nature of the European Union ban. As a result, the European Union views legitimacy was contested in the globalization context. The conflict takes places in several arenas. First of all, it constitutes an issue for Europe, which strived to find an interinstitutional agreement on how to legislate on growth hormones at the European level during the 80ies. Then, it has been one of the most talked about disagreements of the General agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT) and the World trade organization (WTO) negotiations from 1987 onwards. Finally, it involves the CodexAlimentarius Commission, the international organization in charge of setting food standards. In each of these institutions, the beef-hormones conflict management goes with important institutional changes: new specific units, working principles and procedures were created. Thus, my work aimed to precisely describe what consequences the beef-hormones conflict might have had on any of these institutions. As a result, I show how this specific case contributed to the instauration of internationalfood trade regulation.My work relies on a socio-historical inquiry based on diverse and rich empirical data, in order to cover the three aforesaid institutions between 1980 and 2016. I constituted a documentary corpus from institutional archives, and I performed about thirty sociological interviews. I spent several hundreds of hours realizing ethnographing observation, most of which being facilitated by my belonging to the ministry of agriculture’s services. Analysis of this data emphasizes the transforming role of the beef-hormones conflict at an international scale. The conflict first convinced all the stakeholders that it was crucial to strengthen supranational institutions (be it at the European or at the global level). It also allowed to test newly created instruments in their practical functioning. From this prospective, the beef-hormones conflict management reveals the different actors’ internationalrelations perceptions and their evolution during the studied period. Finally, as the beef-hormones conflict has constituted a pattern to the establishment of negotiation strategies, it became a cultural reference structuring an international community. It is therefore a socializing factor.My inquiry also enables a better understanding of private actors’ expectations about international regulation. Veterinary drug industries are actively involved in the institutional discussions surrounding the beef-hormones case, requesting for binding international food trade standards. They are more particularly interested in the activity of standard-setting bodies like Codex. This attitude indicates that those actors use global regulation instruments to advocate for their preferred collective action principles
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Louise Dangy. S'affronter pour réguler : le conflit transatlantique sur le boeuf aux hormones dans l'organisation internationale du commerce agroalimentaire.. Science politique. Université de Lyon, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018LYSE2006⟩. ⟨tel-02185297⟩

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