Aya Adachi – AREA Doctoral Student
Ruhr University Bochum & University of Duisburg-Essen
This PhD project explores the research question of why Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) patterns differ in form and scope through a Comparative Political Economy perspective. The cases of China and Japan demonstrate the value of analyzing the role of the state and its interrelations with sub-national and market actors and spheres in PTA
policy-making within two vastly different political systems. The cases highlight the conceptual issue and consequences of the state-market dichotomy in the scholarship of PTAs and economic regionalism. A mixed-method approach is applied: content analysis is used to assess China and Japan’s average PTA patterns, while qualitative case studies of China and Japan’s agreements with the ASEAN are carried out through process-tracing to link policy positions of relevant actors and the institutional settings to the PTA outcomes.
The main findings of this project show that the scope and depth of Japan’s PTAs are more consistent pronounced, while the scope of China’s PTAs are limited, with a main focus on liberalization of trade in goods. These diverging PTA patterns are linked to differences in domestic political economic configurations. Furthermore, these differences in PTA patterns have regional and global economic governance implications: while China is promoting a supplementary and informal approach, Japan is supporting a more regulatory-based governance.
Aya Adachi is a PhD fellow at Ruhr University Bochum and University of Duisburg-Essen, funded by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR). Her research interests include International and Comparative Political Economy of PTAs and trade politics of China and Japan. She works as a consultant for the German Cooperation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and obtained a M.A. degree in International Relations and International Organizations from the University of Groningen.
German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ)