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North-South Regional Trade Agreements as Legal Regimes

A Critical Assessment of the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement

Clair Gammage

This book offers a critical reflection of the North-South regional trade agreements (RTAs), known as the Economic Partnership Agreements, negotiated between the EU and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries. Conceiving of regions as legal regimes, Clair Gammage highlights the challenges facing developing countries when negotiating RTAs with developed countries and interrogates the assumption that these agreements will and can promote sustainable development through trade.
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Chapter 6: African regionalisms as flexible legal regimes

A Critical Assessment of the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement

Clair Gammage

Extract

Chapter 6 critically reflects on the emergence of African regional regimes. Providing an overview of African regionalism is important for the contextualisation of the analysis of the SADC EPA. Drawing insight from the work of James Gathii, this book asserts that African regionalisms represent ‘flexible’ legal regimes1 that pursue multifaceted policy objectives. As such, African regionalisms do not fit neatly into the straitjacket of Article XXIV legal regimes. Nevertheless, it will be argued that these regions are still regimes integrated through law and have offered a space in which ‘norms of solidarity’2 or expressions of collective political will have been contested, shaped, and reproduced. 1 J.T. Gathii, African Regional Trade Agreements as Legal Regimes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011). 2 L. Dirar, ‘Norms of Solidarity and Regionalism: Theorising State Behaviour Among Southern African States’ (2016) 24 Michigan State International Law Review 667–723.

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