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Politics of Rulemaking, Orchestration of Standards, and Private Economic Regulations

Project description

How multinationals influence international economic policies

The growing internationalisation of production networks has changed the politics of international trade. Multinational companies (MNCs) that critically sustain and develop these cross-border networks play an important role in shaping international economic policies that govern such networks. But how can we examine MNCs' role in the shaping of economic policies? The EU-funded PROSPER project aims to answer this question by gaining insight into the politics of rule-making in the global trade regime. It will investigate the extent to which multinationals are able to mobilise their subsidiaries and affiliates for coordinated lobbying and to impose rules and regulatory standards on firms along their supply chains. The project’s results will help us grasp the dynamics of economic globalisation and the impact of multinationals on global trade rules and standards.


PROSPER is an interdisciplinary project that seeks to understand the politics of rule-making in the global trade regime. It primarily aims to examine how the growth of internationalization of production networks enables private actors – i.e. multinational companies (MNCs) – to be active in the shaping of international economic policies, such as trade agreements and regulatory standards. PROSPER will primarily investigate the extent to which MNCs are able to orchestrate political mobilization of their subsidiaries for coordinated lobbying and impose rules and standards upon firms along their supply chains. Applying international political economy (IPE) insights from the fields of political science, economics, and international law, the projects proposes that firms’ globalization strategies and their degree of integration into global production networks significantly affect their ability to be active in shaping global rules and standards. In order to test the empirical implications of the proposed theory, PROSPER will employ a mixed-method research design using quantitative analysis and in-depth case studies. The project will construct a comprehensive new dataset of MNCs and triangulate the results achieved through statistical analysis via comparative cases studies. As a result, by combining insights from political science, economics, and international law, the project will help us understand the dynamics of economic globalization and the role of private actors in the global trade governance.


Net EU contribution
€ 191 149,44
3012 Bern

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Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Espace Mittelland Bern / Berne
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 191 149,44