Chaire de recherche du Canada en ÉPI

Université Laval




  • Laurens, N (2023) "Institutional adaptation in slow motion: Zooming in on desertification governance" Global Environmental Politics.

    The ability of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) to keep pace with their changing circumstances is crucial for a more effective global environmental governance. Yet, we know little about how new institutional design features are taken up by MEAs, allowing them to evolve over time. Building upon Kingdon’s (1984) multiple streams theory, I conceive the development of new institutional design features as the association between streams of problems, solutions, and political receptivity at critical moments. I apply this framework to two features introduced within the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) framework and find that the main design entrepreneurs were the UNCCD Secretariat and independent scientists. The article provides important insight into characteristics that can make MEAs more adaptive. Namely, treaty bodies able to generate feedback about problems, push for solutions, and provide windows of opportunity for advocates to present and revise their proposals were found critical to the development of new design features.

  • Morin, JF, V. Fournier and S. Paquin (2022) "The Federated Entities in Environmental Treaties Dataset: Questioning Conventional Wisdom on Green Paradiplomacy" Canadian Journal of Political Science 55(1): 226-241.

    The existing literature underestimates the contribution of federated entities to international environmental agreements. This research note introduces a novel dataset on the role of federated entities in 2,077 environmental agreements. We demonstrate the value of this dataset by revisiting common assumptions that stem from the literature. According to conventional wisdom, 1) federated entities’ participation in environmental agreements is a recent phenomenon; 2) this phenomenon is led by federated entities in Western democracies; 3) it has accelerated as a response to the climate crisis; and 4) it is driven by the same movement that favors the participation of diverse stakeholders. This research note questions these preconceived ideas and illustrates how the new dataset sheds light on the role of federated entities in environmental governance.

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  • Pauline Pic (2022) The politics of arctic scales, The Polar Journal, DOI: 10.1080/2154896X.2022.2137089

    Many representations and narratives about the Arctic and Arctic politics carry misconceptions and flawed generalizations. Usually, the term ‘Arctic’ is used as an unproblematized—by default—geographical frame, without considering why this particular ‘Arctic’ framing was chosen and what this choice entails. Yet, considering geographical framing is important as the very choice behind it already carries a political agenda. This paper argues that focussing on the interplay between the different ‘scales’ of the Arctic can shed light on the politics of Arctic scales and resulting discourses. To that end, I analysed every Arctic strategy published by both Arctic and non-Arctic actors. I concentrated on strategies that specifically focused on the Arctic region as a whole, to draw comparisons from these framings. Using thematic analysis, I examined how the Arctic is construed and how the scale at which Arctic issues are framed comes with political consequences. In doing so, I wish to underline the interplay scales and underlying political processes. I conclude by stressing that recognising and attending to the production of ‘scale’ as an inherently political process greatly improves our understanding of regional politics.

  • Pic, Pauline; Escudé, Camille; Vidal, Florian (2021), Numéro spécial ‘Politiques de l’Arctique’. Études Internationales, 51(1).

    This special issue showcases some contributions presented during the symposium “Arctic policies in perspective” which was held at Sciences Po, in Paris, on December 18 and 19, 2019. These two days of discussions aimed at shedding light on the Arctic in a context of the international development of the region, where the signs of cooperation are always vibrant, as indicated by the signing of the moratorium to ban fishing in the central Arctic Ocean. At the same time, weak signals would indicate an increase in security tensions with the jamming of the gps disrupting civil aviation in the Barents region or the return of the United States Navy to Iceland. Far from an image of a unified, frozen and exotic space, the Arctic is now being recognized as a space at the heart of international relations. This special issue is therefore dedicated to discussing and reflecting on the diversity of these Arctic worlds, based on innovative and transdisciplinary research. The links between different prisms of analysis - geographic, strategic, historical, political science - make it possible to see in the Arctic Ocean and the circumpolar territories a space particularly sensitive to the recomposition of the international political scene as to the climatic upheavals which modify singularly this vulnerable region.

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  • Preventing collisions between space objects in outer space: Clarifying the law of state responsibility for better enforcement (Doctoral thesis in Air and Space Law pursued at McGill University under the supervision of Prof (Dr) Ram S Jakhu

    This thesis deals with the issue of collisions between space objects in outer space and argues that proper enforcement of State responsibility is a tool to address the issue. The already crowded Earth’s orbit is threatened by rapidly increasing space debris, testing of anti-satellite weapons, the launch of thousands of satellites in various mega-constellations, CubeSats which are cheap to manufacture, and the renewed space race between the States. However, a single collision between space objects in outer space has the probability of triggering a string of collisions, leading to a Gravity-like situation. At the moment, States are often reluctant to assume responsibility for threats to sustainable use of outer space. The current international space law does not assign the responsibility of States adequately and appropriately, in addition to being indeterminate. This thesis uses the theoretical framework of justice as the basis of international space law to solve the inappropriate assignment of State responsibility by balancing the competing interests of States, including the special interests of the developing countries, and by reducing indeterminacy of international space law. The solution includes arguing that knowledge of an impending collision makes a State responsible to share the data and that State responsibility for better oversight of national space activities can be ensured through a combination of State control, governance by insurance and governance by bilateral space treaties clarifying the ‘appropriate’ responsible State.

  • Coman, R., A. Crespy, F. Louault, J-F Morin, J-B Pilet et Emilie, van Haute (2022), Méthodes de la science politique: De la question de départ à l'analyse des données, de Boeck. (2e edition)

    Un manuel qui met l'accent sur les méthodes et méthodologies propres à la science politique, avec des conseils pratiques pour mener à bien un travail de recherche.

    Une initiation à la recherche en science politique à travers :

    • une présentation pédagogique des méthodes de collecte et d’analyse des données
    • des conseils pratiques pour mener à bien un travail de recherche
    • des exemples concrets extraits de la littérature récente
    • des tableaux de synthèse, des mises en situation et des définitions des termes clés

    Pour apprendre à :

    • réaliser un travail scientifique
    • élaborer une stratégie de recherche
    • choisir et collecter les données pertinentes
    • analyser et interpréter les résultats
    • identifier les forces et les faiblesses de chaque méthode

    Avec exercices interactifs en fin de chapitres pour intégrer et réviser la matière

    Table des matières

    • Chapitre 1 : La science politique, une mosaïque de postures
    • Chapitre 2 : Les approches théoriques
    • Chapitre 3 : Les grandes options méthodologiques
    • Chapitre 4 : Les étapes de la construction d’une stratégie de recherche
    • Chapitre 5 : Enquêtes et bases de données
    • Chapitre 6 : Les méthodes expérimentales
    • Chapitre 7 : Les entretiens
    • Chapitre 8 : L’analyse de discours et de contenu 
    • Chapitre 9 : L'analyse des réseaux sociaux
    • Chapitre 10 : Le traçage de processus dans une étude de cas
    • Chapitre 11 : L’observation empirique

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  • Westman, L., J. Patterson, R. Macrorie, C.J. Orr, C. Ashcraft, V. Castán Broto, D. Dolan, M. Gupta, J. van der Heijden, T. Hickmann, R. Hobbins, M. Papin, E. Robin, C. Rosan, J. Torrens, and R. Webb. 2022. “Compound urban crises”, Ambio, 51: 1402–1415.

    The crises that cities face—such as climate change, pandemics, economic downturn, and racism—are tightly interlinked and cannot be addressed in isolation. This paper addresses compound urban crises as a unique type of problem, in which discrete solutions that tackle each crisis independently are insufficient. Few scholarly debates address compound urban crises and there is, to date, a lack of interdisciplinary insights to inform urban governance responses. Combining ideas from complex adaptive systems and critical urban studies, we develop a set of boundary concepts (unsettlement, unevenness, and unbounding) to understand the complexities of compound urban crises from an interdisciplinary perspective. We employ these concepts to set a research agenda on compound urban crises, highlighting multiple interconnections between urban politics and global dynamics. We conclude by suggesting how these entry points provide a theoretical anchor to develop practical insights to inform and reform urban governance.

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  • Stender, F. C. Brandi and JF Morin (2022) "Do Greener Trade Agreements Call for Side-Payments", Journal of Environment and Development. 31(2): 111-138.

    Preferential trade agreements (PTAs) increasingly include environmental provisions. While the existing literature documents these provisions’ environmental impacts, this paper sheds light on their relation with aid flows. Using an event-specification and data on bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments for a sample of 147 developing country recipients in the period from 2002-2017, we find evidence that the number of environmental provisions in PTAs is positively associated with aid during negotiation phases. With high-income countries typically pre-determining the extent of environmental provisions in their upcoming PTAs, this suggests that aid serves as a side-payment for recipients to sweeten the pot and agree upon already formulated PTA content. While both aggregate ODA and its subcomponent environmental aid a priori qualify as candidates for pre-signature side-payments, we find that only the former fulfills this expectation, presumably reflecting more leeway to exploit aid fungibility.

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  • Laurens, N, C. Brandi & J-F Morin (2022) "Climate and Trade Policies: From Silos to Integration" Climate Policy 22(2): 248-253.

    This paper investigates linkages between trade and climate policies by examining commitments made in preferential trade agreements (PTAs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. While environmental protection and economic growth are often perceived as conflicting policy goals, PTAs and NDCs have the potential to encourage mutually supportive approaches to climate and trade governance. Building upon three recent datasets, the paper locates a sample of 21 countries in a typology of four issue-linkage strategies across both types of instruments: policy integration, policy silos, asymmetry in favor of trade policy, and asymmetry in favor of climate policy. It finds that countries that reveal a preference for strong linkage with climate in their PTAs typically do not reveal a preference for strong trade linkage in their NDCs, and vice versa. No state from the sample favors strong policy integration. After sketching out possible explanations for this observation, the paper concludes that policy-makers have significant room for enhancing synergies between trade and climate commitments and that scholars have a role to play in this endeavor.  

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  • Brandi, C, Schwab, J, Berger, A and JF Morin (2020) "Do Environmental Provisions in Trade Agreements Make Exports from Developing Countries Greener?" World Development. 129, 104899.

    Environmental provisions in preferential trade agreements (PTAs) are increasing in terms of their number and variety. The economic effects of these environmental provisions remain largely unclear. It is, therefore, necessary to determine whether the trend to incorporate environmental provisions in PTAs counteracts the goal to spur economic development through trade via these PTAs. This is the first article in which the trade effects of environmental provisions in PTAs are thoroughly investigated. The spotlight is put on developing countries for which the assumed trade-off between economic development and environmental protection is particularly acute. This article uses a new fine-grained dataset on a broad range of environmental provisions in 680 PTAs, combined with a panel of worldwide bilateral trade flows from 1984 to 2016. We show that environmental provisions can help reduce dirty exports and increase green exports from developing countries. This effect is particularly pronounced in developing countries with stringent environmental regulations. By investigating how environmental provisions in PTAs affect trade flows, this article contributes to the literature on the following topics: international trade and the environment; design and impacts of trade agreements; and greening the economy in developing countries. It also shows that the design of trade agreements matters. Environmental provisions can be used as targeted policy tools to promote the green transformation and to leverage synergies between the economic and environmental effects of including environmental provisions in trade agreements.

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  • Hollway, J, JF Morin and J Pauwelyn (2020) "Structural Conditions for Novelty: The Introduction of New Environmental Clauses to the Trade Regime Complex" International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 20(1): 61-83.

    When do parties introduce novel clauses to a system of contracts or treaties? While important research has investigated how clauses diffuse once introduced, few empirical studies address their initial introduction. Drawing on network theory, this paper argues that novel clauses are introduced when agreements are concluded in certain structures of earlier agreements and the clauses they include. This paper demonstrates this argument using the example of 282 different environmental clauses introduced into the trade regime complex through 630 trade agreements concluded between 1945 and 2016. We find that trade agreements are more likely to introduce novelties when they involve parties with a diversity of experience with prior environmental clauses, and introduce more novelties when more parties are less constrained by prior trade agreements between them. Contrary to prevailing wisdom, power asymmetry between the negotiating parties is not statistically significant.

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  • Mitchell, R, L. Andonova, M. Axelrod, J. Balsiger, T. Bernauer, J. Green, J. Hollway, R. Kim and JF Morin (2020) "What We Know (And Could Know) About International Environmental Agreements", Global Environmental Politics.  20(1) : 103-121.

    Initiated in 2002, the International Environmental Agreements Data Base (IEADB) currently contains information on over 3,000 multilateral and bilateral environmental agreements, including their full texts, membership actions, and design attributes. IEADB data allows us to produce a more detailed, comprehensive, and accurate description of the evolution of international environmental law than was previously possible, including the number, subjects, and memberships of IEAs that states have negotiated. The IEADB makes full texts of large numbers of IEAs available in ways that allow better typologies of how IEA designs vary and facilitates the coding of IEAs into those categories. We highlight the considerable scholarship that already has used the IEADB to contribute insights into international environmental governance and institutional design, including research on IEA membership, formation, and design as well as the structure of international environmental law generally. We briefly note the pedagogic value of the IEADB as a means to support both undergraduate and graduate teaching and research. We end by identifying broad research realms and specific research questions that are opened up by the particular structure and content of the IEADB, noting ways that scholars can use the IEADB to answer those questions of greatest interest to them.Initiated in 2002, the International Environmental Agreements Data Base (IEADB) currently contains information on over 3,000 multilateral and bilateral environmental agreements, including their full texts, membership actions, and design attributes. IEADB data allows us to produce a more detailed, comprehensive, and accurate description of the evolution of international environmental law than was previously possible, including the number, subjects, and memberships of IEAs that states have negotiated. The IEADB makes full texts of large numbers of IEAs available in ways that allow better typologies of how IEA designs vary and facilitates the coding of IEAs into those categories. We highlight the considerable scholarship that already has used the IEADB to contribute insights into international environmental governance and institutional design, including research on IEA membership, formation, and design as well as the structure of international environmental law generally. We briefly note the pedagogic value of the IEADB as a means to support both undergraduate and graduate teaching and research. We end by identifying broad research realms and specific research questions that are opened up by the particular structure and content of the IEADB, noting ways that scholars can use the IEADB to answer those questions of greatest interest to them.

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  • Cartwright, M. (2019). Preferential trade agreements and power asymmetries: the case of technological protection measures in Australia. The Pacific Review32(3), 313-335.

    Since the 1980s states have sought to harmonise economic standards to aid the flow of goods, services and finance across borders. The founding agreements of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), for example, harmonised standards on services, intellectual property and investment. However, mutlilateral trade negotiations in the WTO have since stalled. In response, the United States (US) has engaged in forum shopping, using preferential trade agreements at the bilateral, regional and multinational level to harmonise international standards. This article argues that through forum shopping the US has been able to export standards that support the commercial interests of US-based industries more than they encourage economic exchange across borders. Furthermore, because power asymmetries are starker in preferential trade negotiations smaller and middle power states should not enter trade agreements, which include regulatory harmonisation. This is illustrated with the case of the US-Australia free trade agreement, looking specifically at a copyright standard known as technological protection measures (TPMs). It was clear before, during and after the agreement was signed that Australia’s existing standard on TPMs was more popular than the US-style standard. Nevertheless, a US-style standard is in effect domestically because of the trade agreement.

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  • Papin, M. 2019. Transnational municipal networks: Harbingers of innovation for global adaptation governance? International Environmental Agreements 19(4-5): 467-483. 

    Few studies have examined transnational actors involved in global adaptation governance, despite their growing influence. This paper focuses on 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), a transnational municipal network (TMN) that has created governance instruments with potential for contributing to global adaptation governance. Despite their different nature from international actors (states and intergovernmental organizations), the distinct practices of TMNs and how they might influence global adaptation governance are uncertain. Vague claims suggest that TMNs are innovative, but what this innovation consists of remains unclear. Therefore, the research question here is: how do TMNs innovate in global adaptation governance? This paper strives to answer this question, by building an analytical framework to identify types and features of governance instruments, based on the literature on policy instruments, global environmental governance and global climate governance. It presents a case study of 100RC, based on an in-depth documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews. The results suggest that TMNs can be innovative, if they, like 100RC, create original governance instruments instead of using the existing tools of international or other transnational actors. While some of 100RC’s tools favour a more recent, soft and indirect approach, its considerable use of hard practices with significant obligation is particularly interesting considering the general characterization of TMNs as voluntary and soft. The governance practices of 100RC are thus not in stark contrast with those of international actors. Their diversity could provide inspiration for future action to improve the effectiveness of global climate adaptation governance, and the analytical framework developed here could be applied in further studies.

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  • Laurens, N and JF Morin (2019) "Negotiating Environmental Protection in Trade Agreements: A Regime Shift or a Tactical Linkage?" International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 19(6), 533-556.

    The prolific literature on the relationship between the trade and environmental regimes suffers from three shortcomings. First, it myopically focuses on multilateral institutions while the vast majority of trade and environmental agreements are bilateral. Second, when studies consider preferential trade agreements’ (PTAs) environmental provisions, they are often limited to US and EU agreements. Third, it examines how the trade and environmental regimes negatively affect each other, leaving aside their potential synergies. Conversely, this article assesses the potential contribution of PTAs to international environmental law. Several PTAs include a full-fledged chapter devoted to environmental protection and contain detailed commitments on various environmental issue areas. One possible scenario is that countries that are dissatisfied with traditional settings for environmental lawmaking engage in a process of “regime shifting” toward PTAs to move forward on their environmental agenda. The alternative is that PTAs’ environmental provisions are the result of “tactical linkages” and merely duplicate extant obligations from international environmental law to serve political goals. We shed light on this question by building on two datasets of 690 PTAs and 2343 environmental treaties. We investigate four potential contributions of PTAs to environmental law: the diffusion of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), the diffusion of existing environmental rules, the design of new environmental rules, and the legal prevalence of MEAs. The article concludes that the contribution of PTAs to the strengthening of states’ commitments under international environmental law is very modest on the four dimensions examined.

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  • Peacock C., Dobson, H., Morin, J.F., and Prys-Hansen, M. “G7 Biarritz: Finding Agreement Amid Discord”. Future of Globalization, German Development Institute (2019).

    It is a common practice today to speak about the demise of the liberal world order. Threats to multilateralism, free trade and democratic values seem to arise from everywhere; both through a growing assertiveness of authoritarian regimes, but also from within liberal democracies.This creates particular challenges for international cooperation at a time when the world is increasingly confronted with new or (re-)emerging and transversal issues such as digital privacy and inequality. These issues are insufficiently regulated within our existing system of institutions, necessitating new and renewed forms of multilateral cooperation.

    In light of these challenges, on the occasion of the 2018 G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Canada and the accompanying Think 7 Summit (a meeting of researchers from G7 countries extended to include a number of outreach partners), we looked at the particular institutional characteristics of the G7 and how they impact its ability to tackle new and transversal issues in global governance. In an article that was the output of our involvement in the Think 7 Summit, we highlighted two important features of the G7 that make it better suited than other international institutions to address these issues: the informality and like-mindedness of G7 members when it comes to social, economic and political values. We argued the G7’s relatively high level of informality, along with its focus on shared values among members make it well adapted to address new and complex issues that have „no home”. At the same time, its members are frequently expected to share problem definitions that enable them to reach faster solutions. Both at the previous Charlevoix and the upcoming Biarritz Summits, leaders of the G7 have committed to dealing with increasingly complex threats to multilateralism and emerging problems such as growing inequality, green finance, and the taxation of the digital economy.

    However, as the G7 Summit in Biarritz approaches, it has become clear that the likemindedness of G7 member states is in flux and what we are presented with is a “G6 plus one.” Given the current global context, reaching solutions on these issues has proven to be difficult in light of, in particular, domestic developments in the United States. Yet, with creative solutions building on the G7’s informality and the flexibility it provides, the current era of the G6 plus one will not necessarily relegate the G7 to a phase of decline and inactivity. Ahead of the upcoming summit, we call on leaders to make the most of the G7 by intensifying their debate on a long-term coherent vision strengthening common values and, where this proves to be impossible, to create mini-lateral solutions and long-term plans for particular problems at hand.

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  • Derome, Léonie. "Les critiques de l’accord Canada-Europe sont-elles justifiées?", dans Le Devoir - Opinion, 29 juillet 2019. 

    La ratification de l’Accord économique et commercial global (AECG ou CETA en anglais) par les députés de l’Assemblée nationale française a été précédée de débats houleux dans l’Hexagone, portés par les interventions fort médiatisées de Nicolas Hulot et de Greta Thunberg. Mais l’AECG omet-il réellement de dûment tenir compte de considérations environnementales, comme les débats entourant ces deux interventions pourraient le laisser croire ?

    L’AECG s’illustre dans le palmarès des 10 accords commerciaux présentant la plus grande diversité de dispositions environnementales depuis 1947. Il contient 126 différents types d’engagements et traite donc d’une large variété de sujets liés à l’environnement. Par ailleurs, l’AECG prévoit un nombre considérable de 380 références à l’environnement, ce qui le place à la 13e position des accords abordant le plus fréquemment cette question. L’AECG s’inscrit ainsi dans la tendance globale de multiplication des engagements environnementaux dans les accords de commerce, et l'analyse comparative dans l’historique des accords commerciaux permet difficilement de conclure que l’environnement est insuffisamment pris en considération par le gouvernement canadien actuel lors de la négociation de traités de libre-échange.

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  • Cartwright, M. (2019). Historical institutionalism and technological change: the case of Uber. Business and Politics. 

    In recent years, jurisdictions have struggled to address the emergence of ‘sharing’ businesses, such as Uber. These businesses have used technology to avoid the regulations that usually apply to industries such as taxis. By applying a historical institutionalist analysis, this article explains how authorities have responded to these companies. Through a detailed case study of Uber the article makes an empirical contribution by illustrating how regulatory regimes have responded to ‘disruptive’ technology. Furthermore, by applying an exogenously induced and endogenously mitigated model of change the article addresses the bifurcation in historical institutionalist literature between exogenous and endogenous accounts of change. This helps develop historical institutionalism theoretically, responds to criticisms of agent-based approaches and advances a model that can be applied to the study of technological change more generally.

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  • Laurens, N, Z Dove, JF Morin and S. Jinnah (2019) "NAFTA 2.0: The Greenest Trade Agreement Ever?", World Trade Review 18(4) : 659-677.

    The renegotiation of what US President Trump called “the worst trade deal ever” has resulted in the most detailed environmental chapter in any trade agreement in history. The USMCA mentions dozens of environmental issues that its predecessor, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), overlooked, and in line with contemporary US practice, brings the vast majority of environmental provisions into the core of the agreement, and subjects these provisions to a sanction-based dispute settlement mechanism. It also jettisons two controversial NAFTA measures potentially harmful to the environment. However, this paper argues that the USMCA only makes limited contributions to environmental protection. It primarily replicates most of the environmental provisions included in prior agreements, and only introduces three new environmental provisions. Moreover, it avoids important issues such as climate change, it does not mention the precautionary principle, and it scales back some environmental provisions related to multilateral environmental agreements.

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  • Cartwright, M. (2019). Business conflict and international law: the political economy of copyright in the United States. Regulation & Governance. 

    The internet industry has emerged as an important economic and political actor, both within the United States and internationally. Internet companies depend on exceptions from copyright law in order to operate. As a result, internet companies have considerable incentive to try and influence international copyright law. However, the current literature has neglected the role of the internet industry, instead focusing on the influence of copyright owning media companies. By doing so the literature has largely homogenized the concerns of business interests, neglecting the interests of business actors which do not favor stricter copyright protection. By examining business conflict over recent copyright initiatives by the United States, this article criticizes the literature. It illustrates that the internet industry has been able to alter the negotiating preferences of the United States against the wishes of copyright owners. This argues against the homogenization of business interests regarding copyright whilst illustrating the importance of material over discursive factors in determining political outcomes.

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  • Morin, JF and C. Blouin (2019) 'How Environmental Treaties Contribute to Global Health Governance", Globalization and Health 15:47.


    Recent work in international relations theory argues that international regimes do not develop in isolation, as previously assumed, but evolve as open systems that interact with other regimes. The implications of this insight’s for sustainable development remains underexplored. Even thought environmental protection and health promotion are clearly interconnected at the impact level, it remains unclear how global environmental governance interacts with global health governance at the institutional level. In order to fill this gap, this article aims to assess how environmental treaties contribute to global health governance.

    Methods and results

    To assess how environmental treaties contribute to global health governance, we conducted a content analysis of 2280 international environmental treaties. For each of these treaties, we measure the type and number of health-related provisions in these treaties. The result is the Health and Environment Interplay Database (HEIDI), which we make public with the publication of this article. This new database reveals that more than 300 environmental treaties have health-related provisions. 


    We conclude that the global environmental regime contributes significantly to the institutionalization of the global health regime, considering that the health regime includes itself very few treaties focusing primarily on health. When reflecting on how global governance can improve population health, decision makers should not only consider the instruments available to them within the realm of global health institutions.  They should broaden their perspectives to integrate the contribution of other global regimes, such as the global environmental regime.

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  • Brandi, C, D. Blümer and JF Morin (2019) "When Do International Treaties Matter for Domestic Environmental Legislation?" Global Environmental Politics 19(4): 14-44.

    While thousands of environment-related treaties have been concluded, it remains unclear whether they have been implemented. This paper investigates the relationship between the conclusion of treaties, namely international environmental agreements (IEAs) and preferential trade agreements (PTAs) that include environmental provisions, and the adoption of domestic environmental legislations. Thanks to datasets that are significantly more comprehensive and fine-grained than those previously used, we can focus on the direct link to environmental legislations rather than the less direct link to environmental outcomes. We are also able to study the relationship between international obligations on specific environmental issue areas and legislation in the same issue areas. As expected, we find a significant and positive relationship between both IEAs and PTAs with domestic legislation. Moreover, the link between treaties and domestic legislation is more pronounced in developing countries and, in these countries, more pronounced before rather than after entry into force. This relationship can be observed for many specific environmental issue areas, but not all of them. These findings contribute to the literature on environmental regime effectiveness and the domestic impact of treaties.

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  • Gomez, L, JF Morin and T Van de Graaf, 2020, "Regime Complexes" in Architectures of Earth System Governance (edited by F. Biermann and R Kim), Cambridge University Press

    This chapter reviews this literature on environmental regime complexes. The first section clarifies the definition of regime complex and distinguishes it from similar concepts. The following three sections look respectively at the emergence, the development, and the consequences of regime complexes. The fifth section surveys the different methods used in the regime complex literature. Finally, the last section discusses future directions for research on environmental regime complexes.

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  • Mikler, J. and Madison Cartwright. (2019). “Global Corporations as Agents of Institutional Hybridization: Ford and Volkswagen’s Management-Labor Relations in South Africa”. In Corporate Actors in Global Governance: Business as Usual or New Deal, edited by Matthias Hofferberth. Lynne Rienner.

    Comparativists have long demonstrated that corporations are ‘produced’ through a process of national institutional embedding. However, the globalisation of markets is said to be creating global corporations that no longer have allegiance to their home states. They become as global in their outlook as their interests, and take on an increasingly autonomous existence that is both institutionally as well as physically disembedded from their home states.  In fact, they are seen as proactively attacking national institutional variations.  A key reason for this is that most major industry sectors are oligopolistic. Therefore, global corporations have come to control, rather than compete in, global as well as national markets. Freed from the both the ‘shackles’ of market competition and their home states’ institutions, the result produced is said to be a convergence on neoliberal policies, and a ‘race to the bottom’ as states compete to bid down social and environmental protections to serve the interests of highly mobile capital. The impacts are said to be felt universally, though most acutely in the case of institutionally weaker developing states.

    Are the interests of global corporations as homogeneous as often claimed, and is the result the neoliberalization of developing states’ political economies? To consider these questions we look at the case of investment in South Africa by Ford and Volkswagen, two of the world’s major automotive corporations. Using insights from the comparative capitalism literature, an analysis of South Africa’s political economy, and a content analysis of these corporations’ reporting, we demonstrate that rather than abandoning the management-labor relations of their home states, these corporations have instead sought to retain them. In fact, they have attempted to reproduce their home states’ institutions in their South African operations. From a corporate perspective, their manufacturing operations in South Africa thus represent a case of proactive rather than passive institutional path dependence. From a South African perspective, the management-labor relations they have sought to establish reflect a process of attempted neo-colonisation, and resistance to it, as much as globalisation. The result is that as global corporations become physically disembedded from their home states when they invest and operate abroad, it does not necessarily follow that they become institutionally disembedded as well. Nor does it follow that the states in which they invest ‘surrender’ their institutional differences. As such, foreign investment is a medium for institutional competition between states, rather than annihilation. 

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  • Morin, JF and D. Thériault, 2019. Copyright Provisions in Trade Deals: A Bird's-eye View. CIGI Policy Brief no 149.

    • No fewer than 107 preferential trade agreements (PTAs) include provisions on copyright protection.
    • Some PTAs refer to multilateral copyright agreements or replicate their requirements, but an increasing share of them also provide obligations that go beyond multilateral requirements.
    • The most active proponents of copyright provisions in PTAs are the United States, the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
    • There is a strong correlation between the propensity to include copyright provisions in PTAs and a country’s interest in copyright protection.

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  • Peacock C., K. Milewicz, and D. Snidal, "Boilerplate in International Trade Agreements", International Studies Quarterly, Forthcoming.

    New international agreements often recycle language from previous agreements, using boilerplate solutions alongside customized provisions. The presence of boilerplate in international agreements has important implications for understanding how international rules are made. The determinants behind boilerplate in interna- tional agreements have not previously been systematically evaluated. Using original data from a sample of 348 preferential trade agreements (PTAs) adopted between 1989 and 2009, we combine novel text analysis measures with Latent Order Logistic Graph (LOLOG) network techniques to assess the determinants behind boilerplate in labor and environmental provisions commonly found in PTAs. Our results indicate that whereas boilerplate can be used for both efficiency and distributive purposes, international boilerplate is used primarily for efficiency gains while power-distribution considerations are not systematically important.

  • Morin, JF, D Blümer, C. Brandi, and A. Berger (2019) "Kick-starting diffusion:Explaining the varying frequency of PTAs’ environmental clauses by their initial conditions", World Economy 42(9): 2602-2628. 

    An increasingly comprehensive set of environmental provisions is being integrated in preferential trade agreements (PTAs). Interestingly, while a number of these environmental provisions are included only rarely, others are duplicated in more than 100 PTAs. We still lack a convincing explanation for the conditions that fuel the uptake of specific provisions. This paper contributes to the growing literature on the design, interaction, and diffusion of international institutions and introduces two key innovations. First, our level of analysis is the provision level rather than the agreement level. Second, while the diffusion literature typically tries to explain how diffusion occurs, we investigate what makes diffusion more likely. We hypothesise that the initial conditions – relating both to agency and institutional factors – under which provisions first emerge determine the scope of their diffusion. Our results indicate that provisions originating from intercontinental agreements diffuse more often, and provisions first introduced by environmentally credible countries are more frequently duplicated than provisions introduced by economically powerful countries.

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  • Mathieu, J., Fighting unfair trade, leveling the playing field, enforcing trade rights. The construction of trade protection in the United States and the European Union. PhD thesis in Social and Political Sciences, Université libre de Bruxelles, March 2019.

    The PhD dissertation studies the construction of trade protection in the United States and the European Union. It focuses in particular on measures of contingent protection, comprising anti-dumping duties, countervailing duties and safeguards. The dissertation adopts a constructivist approach based on narrative analysis: broadening the conventional scope of political economy research on trade, the analysis combines the study of narratives with the concept of ‘discourse coalition’. The period under investigation spans over the period 2010-2014, covering the Obama Administration and the mandate of European Commissioner for trade Karel De Gucht. Adopting a comparative approach of the US and EU trade policy, the dissertation provides a detailed analysis of the US administration’s and the European Commission’s discourses on trade protection, and includes an analysis of a large array of other actors’ alternative, or competing constructions of contingent protection. The dissertation demonstrates that a specific type of unilateral enforcement plays an underestimated role in the construction of contingent protection. It also emphasizes that policy actors consider contingent protection as necessary to convince people that the trading system is fair; the research proposes the concept of ‘discursive embedded liberalism’ to account for this specific construction of trade protection. The research underlines elements of continuity and change, showing that many elements of the current crisis within the international trade regime were already in the making in the period under investigation.

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  • Morin, JF and L. Gomez-Mera (2019) "The Evolution of Governance Systems: the Case of the Trade Regime" International Studies Review, 22(4):15-20.

    This collection of essays brings together scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds, based on three continents, with different theoretical and methodological interests but all active on the topic of complex systems as applied to international relations. They investigate how complex systems have been and can be applied in practice and what differences it makes for the study of international affairs. Two important threads link all the contributions: (i) To which extent is this approach promising to understand global governance dynamics? (ii) How can this be implemented in practice?

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  • Morin, JF, H Dobson, C. Peacock, M. Prys-Hansen, A. Anne, L. Belanger, P. Dietsch, J. Fabian, J. Kirton, R. Marchetti, S. Romano, M. Schreurs, A. Silve et E. Vallet (2019), "How Informality Can Address Emerging Issues: Making the Most of the G7", Global Policy, vol. 10(2): 267-273.

    The Group of Seven (G7) leaders met for their 44th annual summit in Charlevoix, Canada in June 2018. Although the G7 has outlived many institutions of global governance, perennial doubts are cast upon it, particularly regarding its legitimacy and achievements. The Think 7/Idées 7 is a group of 35 scholars from all over the world who met from 21 to 23 May, 2018 at Laval University, Quebec City to identify key themes to be addressed at the Charlevoix Summit, communicating its findings to the G7 leaders’ personal representatives. This Policy Insights paper builds on these discussions and looks ahead to the 2019 Biarritz Summit by making recommendations of how the G7 can play a leadership role. We argue that it should address new, unprecedented and highly disruptive issues that characterise our complex world, rather than well-understood international problems that fit into existing categories. We argue that the G7 can do this by playing to its strengths – informality and like-mindedness in particular – in addressing emerging and transversal issues such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cryptocurrencies.

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  • Morin, JF, C Brandi and A Berger. 2019. "The Multilateralization of PTA Environmental Clauses - Scenarios for the Future?" in Shifting Landscape of Global Trade Governance (edited by M. Elsig, M. Hahn, and G. Spilker). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press : 207-231.

    Preferential trade agreements (PTAs) cover a much wider diversity of environmental clauses than World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. Which PTA environmental clauses could be multilateralized and included in the WTO rulebook? This chapter compares five different scenarios for the potential multilateralization of PTA environmental clauses: 1) The “routine scenario” combines the most frequent clauses; 2) Tthe “consensual scenario” includes the clauses accepted by a high number of WTO members; 3) the “trendy scenario” includes the most popular clauses in recent times; 4) “the power-game scenario” combines the clauses that are jointly supported by the US and the EU; 5) the “appropriate scenario” is a compilation of the clauses typically included in large membership agreements. This chapter compares and contrasts the scenarios’ implications and identifies their common ground. Although each scenario represents an ideal type unlikely to materialize, the comparison offers insights into how the multilateral trade system could be developed to improve the integration of environmental concerns.

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  • Gold, R., J-F Morin and E. Shadeed (2019) "Does Intellectual Property Lead to Economic Growth? Insights from an Improved IP Dataset" Regulation & Governance, vol. 13(1): 107-124.

    While policymakers often make bold claims on the positive impact of intellectual property (IP) rights on both developed and developing country economies, the empirical literature is more ambiguous. IP rights have both incentive and inhibitory effects that are difficult to isolate in the abstract and dependent on economic context. To unravel these contradictory effects, this article introduces an index that evaluates the strength of IP protection in 124 developing countries for the years 1995 to 2011. We illustrate the value of this index to economics study and show evidence that is consistent with IP leading to increased growth. Our results are further consistent with two causal pathways highlighted in the literature: that IP leads to greater levels of technology transfer and increased domestic inventive activity. Yet, other aspects of our study fit uneasily with this simple story. We find, for example, evidence suggesting that increased levels of growth lead to greater levels of IP protection, contradictory evidence in the literature linking IP with growth, a lack of evidence that increased levels of IP protection lead to actual use of the IP system and problems with what IP indexes measure. Because of this, we suggest another – and so far undertheorized – explanation of the links between IP and growth: that IP may have few direct effects on growth and that any causality is due to belief rather than actual deployment of IP.

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  • Morin, J-F and M. Gauquelin, 2016, "Trade Agreements as Vectors for the Nagoya Protocol's Implementation", CIGI Papers no 115. 

    A growing number of trade agreements include provisions related to access to genetic resources and the sharing of the benefits that arise out of their utilization. This paper  maps the distribution and the diversity of these provisions. It identifies a great variety of provisions regarding sovereignty over genetic resources, the protection of traditional knowledge, prior informed consent, the disclosure of origin in patent applications and conditions for bioprospecting activities. It also finds that some recent trade agreements provide specific measures designed to facilitate the implementation of access and benefit-sharing (ABS) provisions, including measures related to technical assistance, transparency and dispute settlements. Thus, it appears that trade negotiations can become vectors for the implementation of ABS obligations stemming from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization. The integration of ABS commitments into trade agreements, however, varies greatly, depending on the countries involved. While Latin American countries have played a pioneering role, Canada and the United States still lag behind. The most exemplary ABS standards are not yet widely used, perhaps because they remain little known. These provisions deserve greater attention and should be integrated more widely into international trade agreements. 

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  • Morin, J-F, N. Michaud and C. Bialais, 2016, "Trade Negotiations and Climate Governance: The EU as a pioneer, but not (yet) a leader", IDDRI Issue Brief, no 10/16, 4 p.

    The European Union is a pioneer in terms of integrating climate issues into trade negotiations. It is the actor that includes the greatest number and range of provisions related climate change in its trade agreements.However, the EU model does not seem to be inspiring other actors in the trade system. Despite the recent proliferation of trade agreements and the exponential increase in provisions relating to the environment in these agreements, few countries are taking inspiration from EU standards.In order to foster an integrated approach to climate change, it would be useful to reproduce on a broader scale the small number of existing climate provisions, and to innovate based on progress made for other environmental issues.

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  • Guillaume Beaumier, « Le Traité de Lisbonne et le droit international de l’investissement : L’évolution d’un nouveau modèle européen », Études internationales 47(4) : 365-86.

    Le droit international des investissements a connu une évolution exponentielle au cours des deux dernières décennies. Avec plus de 3 000 accords et une vaste jurisprudence, certains qualifient ce système de chaotique et instable. Les divergences entre traités bilatéraux d’investissement et les décisions contraires de tribunaux arbitraux donnent certes cette impression. Le présent article sur le développement du modèle de négociation de la Commission européenne, après l’entrée en vigueur du Traité de Lisbonne, démontre néanmoins que tout en étant un système décentralisé et flexible, le régime des investissements est en réalité dynamiquement stable et favorise une répétition des normes préexistantes. Le chapitre sur l’investissement du récent accord économique et commercial global (AECG) illustre en effet que tout en ayant eu l’occasion d’innover, la Commission européenne s’est largement inspirée du complexe institutionnel en place incluant notamment, mais pas uniquement, le modèle d’accord des États-Unis.

    Mots clés : Droit international des investissements, Union européenne, Institutions, Évolution juridique, systèmes complexes

    Foreign investment law (FIL) went through a tremendous evolution in the past two decades. With more than 3 000 agreements and a large corpus of case-law, some would qualify it as a chaotic and unstable system. Divergences between agreements and past arbitral decisions undoubtedly strengthen this perception. Nonetheless, this article on the development of the new European model for negotiating investment agreements following the Lisbon Treaty outlines that FIL is dynamically stable over time. In other words, while being flexible and opened for incremental changes, the investment regime also fosters a repetition of pre-existing norms. In fact, the recent text of the investment chapter of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) shows that even though the European Commission had the opportunity to innovate, the existing institutional complex surrounding FIL including, but not solely the American treaty model, largely inspired it.

    Keywords : Foreign investment law, European Union, Institutions, Legal evolution, Complex system

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  • Morin, J-F, N. Michaud et C. Bialais, 2016, "Les négociations commerciales et la gouvernance climatique: l'UE comme précurseur mais pas (encore) meneur", IDDRI Issue Brief, no 10/16, 4 p.

    L’analyse détaillée de 660 accords commerciaux conclus depuis 19471 permet de relever des dispositions particulièrement novatrices sur une série d’enjeux environnementaux. La question plus spécifique des changements climatiques, en revanche, apparaît encore sous-développée. Cet Issue Brief présente la portée et les limites de l’action européenne sur le climat dans les négociations commerciales.

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  • Coman, R. and J-F Morin, eds.(2015), Political Science in Motion: The Evolution of a Discipline Through its Journals, Editions de l'Université de Bruxelles.

    This book examines recent developments in political science research. What are the new influences to which the discipline opens itself up? Is political science research converging towards a single model or splitting into different streams? What are the new challenges at the beginning of the 21st century? By addressing these questions, this collection of essays discusses three interrelated topics: the relationship between political science and the problems of politics, the relationship between political science and other fields of research, and the transformation of the profession. In so doing, this volume traces the major trends in contemporary political science research since the end of the Cold War.


    As part of this approach, the authors rely on the academic journals as a field of investigation. Each of the eight chapters focuses on a different journal, including the American Political Science Review,West European Politics, the British Political Science ReviewSecurity Dialogue, the Journal of Common Market StudiesInternational SecurityElectoral Studies and the Revue française de science politique.


    The book is intended to scholars with an interest in the historiography of political science, the epistemology of knowledge, the sociology of the profession as well as the evolution of the field in terms of research agendas, theoretical approaches and methodological debates. 

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  • Morin, J-F et M. Rochette. 2016. "Les dispositions environnementales des accords commerciaux: entre innovation et diffusion", dans Circulations de normes et réseaux d’acteurs dans la gouvernance internationale de l'environnement, sous la direction de Sandrine Maljean Dubois, DICE editions: 37-60

    Au cours des dernières décennies, les interactions entre les enjeux commerciaux et environnementaux n’ont cessé de croître et de se densifier, créant un véritable complexe institutionnel. Les accords commerciaux, en particulier, incluent un nombre croissant de normes environnementales. Loin de favoriser une uniformisation de ces accords, cette multiplication a plutôt contribué au développement de différentes approches. Les États-Unis et l’Union européenne, en particulier, ont développé des approches très différentes dans leurs accords commerciaux. Il est néanmoins possible d’observer une certaine convergence dans les plus récents accords américains et européens. Le complexe institutionnel du commerce et de l’environnement progresse ainsi dans cette dynamique évolutive, entre l’innovation et la diffusion.

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  • Papin, M., 2016, « Les réseaux transnationaux de villes, acteur de la gouvernance climatique mondiale », L’IntErDiSciplinaire, 11, p. 6.

    Dans cet article, je présente le rôle que peuvent avoir les villes, au travers des réseaux transnationaux de villes en puissance, dans la gouvernance climatique mondiale. J'affirme que, si ces réseaux de villes peuvent apporter au système complexe de gouvernance climatique, ils ne peuvent avoir un impact réel sans l'aide conjointe des Etats.

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  • Richard Ouellet « L’activité du Québec en matière de commerce international: de l’énonciation de la doctrine Gérin-Lajoie à la négociation de L’AECG », Revue québécoise de droit international, Hors-série Juin 2016 La doctrine Gérin-Lajoie : 50 ans d’actions internationales du Québec, 31 août 2016. 

    La doctrine énoncée par Paul Gérin-Lajoie en avril 1965 n’a pas vocation à s’étendre au commerce international ni à la protection des investissements. En effet, la seule lecture de la Loi constitutionnelle de 1867 suffit pour convaincre qu’il est difficile de prétendre que ces deux domaines d’activité relèvent des compétences internes ou externes des provinces canadiennes. Pourtant, force est de constater que l’expansion qu’a connue l’activité internationale du Québec ces cinquante dernières années, conjuguée à l’élargissement des thèmes couverts par les accords d’intégration économique, a amené le Québec à jouer un rôle significatif dans les arènes économiques et commerciales internationales. Par le pouvoir de mise en œuvre du contenu des accords internationaux qui découle des compétences législatives qui lui appartiennent, le Québec a pu être impliqué à divers titres dans la négociation d’importants accords de partenariat économique tel que l’Accord économique et commercial global (AECG) signé entre le Canada et l’Union européenne. Le Québec fut aussi associé de près au règlement d’importants différends commerciaux auxquels le Canada était partie devant l’Organe de règlement des différends de l’Organisation mondiale du commerce ou devant des instances créées par l’ALENA. De la même façon, il fut consulté au premier chef dans le règlement de plaintes portées par des investisseurs étrangers dans le cadre d’arbitrages investisseur-État. L’activité internationale du Québec en matières économique et commerciale s’est aussi manifestée par la signature d’ententes intergouvernementales en matière de marchés publics ou pour la création d’un marché nord-américain du carbone. Le Québec a pu, au fil du temps, développer puis augmenter son influence sur l’élaboration et l’application des accords de commerce. Il est à souhaiter que les négociations du Partenariat transpacifique, pendant lesquelles les provinces canadiennes ont été largement reléguées aux coulisses, ne sont pas annonciatrices d’un recul à cet égard.

    The doctrine Paul Gérin-Lajoie launched in April 1965 is not intended to extend to international trade nor to the protection of investments. Indeed, the reading of the 1867 Constitutional Act convinces its readers that it is difficult to claim that these two fields fall under the internal or external jurisdiction of the Canadian provinces. However, it must be recognized that the expansion of Quebec’s international activity during the past 50 years, combined with the broadening of the themes covered by economic integration agreements, have brought Quebec to play a significant role within the international economic and commercial arenas. Through its implementation powers for the contents of international agreements, derived from the legislative jurisdiction it holds, Quebec has been involved in numerous manners in the negotiation of important economic partnership agreements, such as theComprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) signed between Canada and the European Union. Quebec was also closely involved in the resolution of important commercial disputes to which Canada was a party before the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization or before bodies created under NAFTA. Similarly, the province was consulted for the resolution of complaints brought by foreign investors in the framework of investor-state arbitrations. Quebec’s international activity in economic and commercial matters has also manifested itself through the signature of intergovernmental agreements on public markets or the creation of a North American carbon market. Quebec has progressively developed and increased its influence on the elaboration and implementation of commercial agreements. Hopefully, the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, during which Canadian provinces were largely relegated to the sidelines, do not herald a setback in this respect.

  • Morin, JF and R. Gold (2016) "International Socialization at the State and Individual Levels: Mixed Evidence from Intellectual Property", Cambridge Review of International Affairs, vol 29(4): 1375-1395.

    This article synthesizes the results of two analyses, one at a macro and the second at the micro level, to shed new light on the process of international socialization. More particularly, the first analysis examines the seeming adoption of intellectual property norms at the state-level while the second looks at the internalization of similar norms at the individual decision-maker level. Both pay special attention to foreign education and capacity building courses as carriers of US norms to developing countries. By triangulating the results of these analyses, we gain a more precise picture of international socialization processes than analyses centered at only one level. It becomes possible to distinguish between socialization types (acculturation or persuasion) and idea types (causal or normative beliefs).

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  • Coman, R., A. Crespy, F. Louault, J-F Morin, J-B Pilet and Emilie, van Haute (2016), Méthodes de la science politique: De la question de départ à l'analyse des données, de Boeck.

    Manuel mettant en évidence les méthodes et méthodologies propres à la science politique, avec des conseils pratiques pour mener à bien un travail de recherche.

    Une initiation à la recherche en science politique à travers : 
    - des conseils pratiques pour mener à bien un travail de recherche 
    - une présentation pédagogique des méthodes de collecte et d’analyse des données 
    - des exemples concrets extraits de la littérature récente 
    - des tableaux de synthèse, des mises en situation et des définitions des termes clés

    Pour apprendre à : 
    - élaborer une stratégie de recherche 
    - choisir et collecter les données pertinentes 
    - analyser et interpréter les résultats 
    - identifier les forces et les faiblesses de chaque méthode

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  • Morin, JF and G. Beaumier, 2016, "TPP Environmental Commitments: Combining the US Legalistic and the EU Sectoral Approaches" ICTSD BioRes, April 2016. 

    The US government argues that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), concluded last October with 11 other Pacific Rim countries, “includes the most robust enforceable environment commitments of any trade agreement in history.” But is this really the case? The TPP undoubtedly goes well beyond multilateral trade rules found in the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT-1994) that treats environmental protection merely as legitimate grounds for exceptions to trade liberalisation. In the last decade, however, several other bilateral and regional trade agreements have been signed containing stringent and comprehensive environmental commitments. To what extent is the TPP really ground breaking when compared with these?

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  • Morin, JF, S. Louafi, A. Orsini and M. Oubenal (2017) "Boundary Organizations in Regime Complexes: A Social Network Profil of IPBES", Journal of International Relations and Development, 20(3): 543-577. x

    Regime complexes are arrays of institutions with partially overlapping mandates and memberships. As tensions frequently arise among these institutions, there is a growing interest geared to finding strategies to reduce them. Insights from regime theory, science and technology studies, and social network analysis support the claim that “boundary organizations” – a type of organization until now overlooked in International Relations – can reduce tensions within regime complexes by generating credible, legitimate and salient knowledge, provided that their internal networks balance multiple knowledge dimensions. Building on this argument, this article offers an ex ante assessment of the recently created International Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Results from our network analysis of IPBES point to clear improvements compared with similar organizations, although major deficiencies remain. The contribution of this article is threefold. Methodologically, it introduces new conceptual and technical tools to assess the “social representativeness” of international organizations. Theoretically, it supports the claim that international organizations are penetrated by transnational networks and, consequently, that the proliferation of institutions tends to reproduce structural imbalances. Normatively, it argues that a revision of nomination processes could improve the ability of boundary organizations to generate salient, credible and legitimate knowledge.

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  • Wanneau K. & La Branche S. (2015), Les défis de l'adaptation locale au changement climatique à la croisée de la science et de la société, in Beringuier P., Blot F., Desailly B. et Saqalli M., Environnement, politiques publiques et pratiques locales, L'Harmattan, pp.259-286

    Longtemps enfant oublié de la gouvernance climatique, les efforts d’adaptation se sont ancrés à l’échelle territoriale en France en 2010. L’obligation légale des Plans climat–énergie territoriaux (PCET) a en effet confronté les acteurs locaux aux complexités de l’adaptation et aux blocages émanant du développement de leur stratégie puis de sa mise en œuvre. L’exercice est avant tout marqué par une incertitude ontologique qui oblige les acteurs à réinventer leur perception du territoire. L’étude analyse comment l’architecture du territoire, au sens des compétences institutionnelles et des connaissances du territoire disponibles, structure en grande partie l’outillage de ces PCET. Elle identifie les leviers d’action, marges de manœuvre mais aussi les barrières sociales et institutionnelles qui l’accompagnent. En conclusion, des régularités s’observent malgré la singularité de chaque mobilisation des acteurs pour leur PCET : soit l’adaptation est réduite à minima, soit elle embarque la collectivité dans un chantier territorial transversal difficile à mener jusqu’au bout. Par ailleurs, la combinaison de savoirs profanes et experts affirme le souhait de mieux connaître son territoire. Cette ambition dépasse le décalage entre les intentions et les ressources affectées aux PCET dans certains cas.

    Mots clés: Gouvernance climatique; adaptation locale; incertitude; barrières socio-institutionnelles ; savoir ; PCET ; territoire.


    For a long time forgotten from climate governance, local adaptation efforts have emerged in France in 2010. Territorial actors have a legal obligation to implement Climate-energy territorial Plans (PCET). These PCET have confronted them to complex adaptation challenges including locking effects during their strategic elaboration and implementation. An ontological uncertainty marks this exercise, and therefore pushes actors to reinvent their perception of territory. The study analyses how the territorial architecture, understood as the available institutional competence and knowledge of the territory, structures PCET’s adaptation approaches. It identifies leverages, room for manoeuvre as well as social and institutional barriers. As a conclusion, regularities are observed, in spite of the singularity of each actors’ mobilisation during the PCET: either adaptation is reduced to the legal minimum, or it embarks the actors in a transversal project difficult to achieve. Nonetheless, the process combines expert and non-expert knowledge along with the intention to assess the territory. To some extent, this ambition is more important than the lack of resources affected to PCETs.

    Key words: Climate governance; local adaptation; uncertainty; social and institutional barriers; knowledge; PCET; territory

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  • Morin, J-F et A. Orsini (2015) Politique internationale de l'environnement, Presses de Sciences Po.

    Controverses scientifiques, sommets mondiaux, débats Nord/Sud, mouvements sociaux, équité intergénérationnelle, efficacité de la coopération, etc. La politique internationale de l'environnement constitue un domaine foisonnant qui ne cesse de s'enrichir depuis la fin du XXe siècle. Ce manuel permet de s’initier et de mieux comprendre les débats qui animent les spécialistes de la gouvernance internationale de l’environnement. Les changements climatiques sont-ils des facteurs de déclenchement de conflits armés ? La coopération multilatérale doit-elle être considérée comme un échec ? Les firmes transnationales peuvent-elles devenir les alliées des ONG ? La souveraineté nationale est-elle un obstacle à la coopération internationale dans le domaine de l’environnement ? Résolument pédagogique, il favorise la compréhension de concepts et de réalités complexes en proposant des tableaux, des cartes, des diagrammes, des repères chronologiques, des encadrés, un lexique et des liens vers des ressources spécialisées.

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  • Morin, JF, T. Novotna, F. Ponjaert and M. Telò, eds.(2015), The Politics of Transatlantic Trade Negotiations, Routledge. 

    By focusing on the wider process of negotiations, this novel volume presents the first systematic analysis of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The authors include scholars and practitioners from across disciplines and various academic institutions around Europe and North America, but also from outside of the transatlantic basin. While presenting a thorough examination of the process of TTIP negotiations, the volume is divided into four parts with each part examining a broader theme and offering three or four shorter exploratory chapters that are accessible to academics, students, policy-makers and a wider audience.

    The volume explores historical and theoretical aspects of TTIP (with chapters by Gamble, Keohane and Morse, Telò), the beginnings of the TTIP talks and the role of individual actors (Mayer, Novotná, Dür and Lechner, Strange), TTIP’s possible knock-on effects and consequences for third parties (Aggarwal and Evenett, Duchesne and Ouellet, Zhang, Ponjaert) as well as impact on multilateral institutions and regimes complexes (Mavroidis, Mortensen, Meunier and Morin, Pauwelyn).


    "This volume addresses a crucial issue of global and interregional trade governance by including an international team of   leading scholars from a variety of disciplines and viewpoints. Collectively the authors identify the major stakes and provide a comprehensive and highly competent overview of the main political implications of the ‘Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’ negotiations from both sides (North America and Europe), while keeping in mind the controversial interplay with global governance and emergent economies. Highly recommended for students, scholars, practitioners and informed citizens looking for critical and solid orientation in a very sensitive and uncertain matter."

    - Pascal Lamy, Honorary President of Notre Europe, former Director general of the WTO and European Commissioner for Trade 

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  • Morin, J-F. and S. Bannerman. 2015. “Tigers and Dragons at WIPO” in Rising Powers and Multilateral Institutions (edited by D. Lesage and T. Van De Graaf), Palgrave.

    How did Japan and Korea, as the rising powers of their day, transform from being “free-riders” on foreign intellectual property (IP) to being innovation-exporters and proponents of strong protection of foreign IP at the World Intellectual Property Organization. The growing literature of global IP politics has paid little attention to countries in the midst of becoming knowledge economies.Susan Sell describes the history of international IP politics as an “elaborate cat and mouse game” (2009: 2), in which developed countries chase developing countries from one institutional venue to the next in pursuit of stronger IP. We ask what would happen if, in the course of this pursuit, one of the mice progressively transformed into a cat? More specifically, in this chapter we address two questions. First, where do rising IP powers sit in multilateral negotiations? Second, what are the causal dynamics at play from the time a country resists foreign IP standards to the time it promotes strong international IP protection. The experience of Japan in the 1970–1980 and Korea in the 1980–1990 might be indicative of the direction China might take in the years to come. 

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  • Gold, R. and J-F  Morin, “Promising  Trends in Access to  Medicines”, Global  Policy, vol. 3(2),  2012, p. 231-237.

    It is a vast understatement to say that the problem of access to medicines in developing countries is complex. Access is limited by a range of factors including inability to pay, a lack of infrastructure, and corruption in some countries. Surrounding and exacerbating these structural and technological problems is the layer of legal rights created by patents and their licensing that complicate and render more expensive the preparation and delivery of needed medicines, particularly those that need to be adapted to the social, health and cultural environment of developing countries. This article provides a survey of innovative strategies that aim at maximizing the potential of patents to facilitate the development and delivery of medicines against diseases, the burden of which falls principally on developing country populations. To understand the context in which these strategies are being proposed and implemented, the article reviews the battles over access to medicines beginning in the late 1980s. It then surveys some of the principal suggestions put forward to better direct innovation systems in addressing the critical health needs of the world’s majority including advance market commitments, patent buy-outs, prize funds, public–private partnerships and patent pools.

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  • Morin, J-F (2012) Politique étrangère : Théories, méthodes et références. Armand Colin. 315 p.

    Pourquoi les pays occidentaux versent-ils davantage d’aide au développement aux autocraties qu’aux démocraties ? Pourquoi le Danemark réussit-il à exercer une influence disproportionnée au sein de l’Union européenne ? Pourquoi le Canada a-t-il fait du maintien de la paix la pierre angulaire de sa politique étrangère ? Ce manuel propose une introduction aux théories et aux méthodes de l’analyse de la politique étrangère. Il passe en revue les principales approches, des classiques aux plus récentes. Plus qu’une simple synthèse, il identifie les courants émergents, les lacunes qui doivent être comblées, les données qui peuvent être mobilisées, les pièges à éviter et les références bibliographiques à creuser. C’est le point d’entrée incontournable pour tous les étudiants, les doctorants et les chercheurs qui entament un projet de recherche sur la politique étrangère.

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  • Morin, J-F., "Une réplique du Sud à l’extension du droit des brevets par les États-Unis ", Droit et société, vol. 58, 2004, p. 633-653.

    Le droit international de la propriété intellectuelle impose de plus en plus la brevetabilité du matériel génétique. Plusieurs organisations non gouvernemen-tales et pays en développement s’opposent à cette extension du droit des brevetsen réclamant de nouveaux droits de propriété sur les ressources génétiques etles connaissances traditionnelles. La dernière version du projet de Zone de li- bre-échange des Amériques reflète cette polarisation et contient, à côté des dis-positions sur la brevetabilité des végétaux, des propositions sur la protection dela diversité biologique. Cette opposition démontre que les pays latino-américains ont appris à jouer un rôle proactif dans le régime international des brevets et tentent d’orienter les débats vers leurs préoccupations.

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  • Morin, J-F., "La brevetabilité dans les récents traités de libre-échange américains", Revue internationale de droit économique, no 4, 2004,p. 483-501

    The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is no longer the «new frontier» of theinternational patent regime. Indeed, the United States and other developed countriesnegotiate bilateral «TRIPs-plus» treaties with developing countries. Arguably,bilateralism allows to bypass the dead-end debates at the TRIPs Council and to build alliances for upcoming multilateral negotiations at the World Intellectual PropertyOrganization. This article compares patentability provisions of the recently-concluded U.S. Free Trade Agreements with the TRIPs Agreement. Although most of the provisions of the TRIPs Agreement are integrated in bilateraltreaties, we identify five significant changes: 1) bilateral treaties provide a 12 months grace period to inventors; 2) the industrial application requirement isdefined has a «specific, substantial, and credible utility»; 3) a ceiling to thedisclosure requirement is introduced; 4) the plant protection regime is reinforced; 5) the non-discrimination rule is omitted.Our comparative analysis shows that bilateralism allows the US to consolidateexisting multilateral treaties, such as the TRIPs Agreement and the UPOV Conven-tion, and to fortify its negotiating position for future multilateral treaties, such as theWIPO Substantive Patent Law Treaty. The new features of bilateral treaties indicatethat the international patent regime is still oriented through the US patent law model.

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