Browsing by Subject "new constitutionalism"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-3 of 3
  • Eskelinen, Teppo; Ylonen, Matti (2017)
    Tax havens and tax flight have lately received increasing attention, while interest toward multilateral trade policies has somewhat diminished. We argue that more attention needs to be paid exactly to the interrelations between trade and tax policies. Drawing from two case studies on Panama's trade disputes, we show how World Trade Organization (WTO) rules can be used both to resist attempts to sanction secrecy structures and to promote measures against tax flight. The theory of new constitutionalism can help to explain how trade treaties can 'lock in' tax policies. However, our case studies show that trade policy not only 'locks in' democratic policy-making, but also enables tax havens to use their commercialized sovereignty to resists anti-secrecy measures. What is being 'locked in' are the policy tools, not necessarily the policies. The changing relationship between trade and tax policies can also create new and unexpected tools for tackling tax evasion, underlining the importance of epistemic arbitrage in the context of new constitutionalism. In principle, political actors with sufficient technical and juridical knowledge can shape global tax governance to various directions regardless of their formal position in the world political hierarchies. This should be taken into account when trade treaties are being negotiated or revised.
  • Bukovskis, Karlis (2010)
    This Master’s Thesis contributes to the theoretical approach of ‘economism’ developed by Teivo Teivainen as well as the theoretical discussion on the changing responsibilities of foreign ministries and the influences of modern neoliberal economic principles on foreign policy. The case study of this research is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia. The aim of the research therefore was to examine if and how economism manifests itself in the responsibilities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with regards to Latvia’s external economic relations. This research contributes to the theoretical stances of economism by developing a set of conceptual principles and exercising them on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A discourse – containing arguments and principles expressed by interviewed officials and conceptual foreign policy documents – is screened for the presence of these predefined principles of economism. The documents regulating the responsibilities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are subjected to a diachronic comparative analysis to identify whether the political influence and responsibilities of the Ministry have diminished over the time and if a constitutionalization of economism has taken place. The analysis reveals a constitutionalization of economism through a gradual reduction of responsibilities and political influences of the Ministry since the beginning of 1990s. The control and political influence that the Ministry had after the collapse of the Soviet Union was reduced, liberalizing economic relations and opening the market. The MFA's responsibilities and influences have been adjusted to the needs and demands of the business sector – the promotion of domestic businesses abroad and the attraction of the foreign investors. The embassies and the MFA add ‘political muscle’ by demonstrating support for the business sector rather than by constraining it. The main responsibilities left for the MFA and embassies are the representation of businesses, occasional assistance for citizens, expert advice to the host state and improving the image of the country. The presence of the principles of economism within the discourse is not unequivocal. The economic rationale does not dominate the discourse of the responsibilities of the MFA. Economic rationale and even boundary creation itself is largely absent from the discourse constituted by the principles within the documents regulating the functioning of the MFA. Even more, the discourse constituted by the principles expressed by the officials in the interviews for this research does not reveal strong dominance of economic rationale either. Present principles show support for apolitism in state affairs and limitations on external sovereignty. At the same time, there are also strong opposing views, especially with regards to the limits of democracy and internal sovereignty. Nevertheless the legal documents demonstrate that the boundary between economical and political is being created by taking the strong decision making powers on external economic relations away from the MFA and so revealing the constitutionalization of economism. The defined principles of economism though should be further tested in future analyses.
  • Kari, Niina Susanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis evaluates the utility of Stephen Gill’s concept of new constitutionalism in understanding the functioning of the European Economic and Monetary union (EMU) in 2015– 2020. New constitutionalism is defined as legally locked in rules-based market discipline. The thesis has two research questions: 1) To what extent does the concept of new constitutionalism aptly describe the economic policy space of EMU member states? That is, to what extent the EMU, with its associated rules and criteria, constrains the economic policies of its member states? 2) To what extent are new constitutionalist principles “locked in” in the EMU? That is, to what extent is new constitutionalism really constitutional in the EMU? Chapter 1 outlines Gill’s contributions on new constitutionalism in the EMU, defines the key terms and introduces the research problematic. Chapter 2 evaluates the effects of EMU membership on economic policy space. This chapter draws extensively on data on fiscal deficits and levels of public debt well as the fiscal stimulus packages implemented in the context of the corona pandemic in EMU states and other advanced economies. It is shown that although average levels of debt have been lower in EMU states than in advanced economies overall, none of the major member states have remained within the required limits for public debt in this period. This renders the applicability of the concept of new constitutionalism dubious. Similarly, although EMU states stimulated their economies less than other advanced economies in response to the corona pandemic, this was not due to pressure from EU institutions as Gill’s argument would suggest. Chapter 3 addresses the political contingency in the application of rules-based market discipline in the EMU. Most notably, beyond the extreme case of Greece in 2015, there has been a reluctance by the European Commission to discipline member states for breaking the fiscal rules. The last two sections of this chapter consider the extent to which the actions of the European Central Bank have undermined market discipline in the EMU, and the pertinent question of whether the corona pandemic has ushered in a fundamental change in economic thinking in the EU. Drawing on this analysis, it is argued that the concept of new constitutionalism most aptly described the situation faced by Greece in 2015, but its applicability has subsequently waned. Specifically, the concept of new constitutionalism fails to capture the political contingency and flexibility in the application of both fiscal rules and market discipline in the EMU. Chapter 4 is dedicated to the second research question – that is, to what extent new constitutionalist principles are constitutionalised in the EMU. This chapter analyses the practical possibilities for EMU reform. However, given the unanimity requirement between member states for fundamental reform of the EMU, it is here that Gill’s argument about new constitutionalism being “locked in” is found to have the most applicability. The overall argument of this thesis is that the original Maastricht vision of the EMU has not come to fruition. In fact, the EMU experience illustrates that attempts to impose fixed visions of order onto social systems tend to produce disorder. While the eurozone crisis itself was generated by unbalancing tendencies inherent in the EMU, it has subsequently survived only through circumvention of its rules.