SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Boys, Julian and Andreoni, Antonio (2023) 'Does regionalism increase industrial policy space? An analytical framework applied to the East African textiles and apparel sector.' Third World Quarterly, 44 (8). pp. 1680-1698.

[img]
Preview
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

We introduce a multidimensional and multilevel framework for industrial policy space as the set of legally permitted, economically viable and politico-institutionally feasible policy options for industrial development, given constraints at the national, regional and global levels. This is applied to the East African Community (EAC) textiles and apparel (T&A) sector, using data from policy documents and semi-structured interviews. The EAC customs union nominally transfers trade policy sovereignty to the regional level, but we present evidence showing how the duty remission scheme allows governments to provide targeted trade policy rents to domestic T&A firms, maintaining national legal policy space. This comes at a cost, because firms benefiting from national duty remission rents may not sell their goods duty free in other EAC countries, so the expanded economic policy space offered by regional integration is curtailed. In the political-institutional sphere, the EAC allowed a new policy option to emerge at the regional level – import substitution of used clothes – but global-level policy space constraints prevented implementation when US authorities threatened to remove trade preferences underpinning thousands of jobs. Regional integration policies should take into account tensions between different dimensions and levels of industrial policy space to maximise prospects for sustainable development.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Policy space, industrial policy, regional integration, textiles and apparel, East Africa
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
ISSN: 01436597
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2023.2211009
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2023 10:00
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/39565
Funders: Other

Altmetric Data

Statistics

Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
30Downloads
6 month trend
58Hits
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item