|Keywords:||EU; EAC; EPA; neo-gramscian; global value chain; global political economy; political economy; international relations; hegemony; neoliberalism|
|Full text PDF:||http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/23259|
On October 16 2014, after over seven years, the European Union (EU) and the East Africa Community (EAC) concluded negotiations on a new comprehensive Economic Partner-ship Agreement (EPA). However, the deadline for the conclusion was October 1 and as a consequence EU removed the Community’s trade privileges that gave the region the pos-sibility to export products to the EU markets duty and quota-free. This paper argues – based on Neo-Gramscian theory – that the EPA is result of a neolib-eral hegemony, of which EU as a prime actor is promoting a neoliberal agenda. By both consent and cohesion is the EU able to pressure the EAC sign the EPA, which enforced market liberalisations and a strengthening of marked-based authority over state-authority. We also show – through global value chain theory – how the local associations of exporters pushed for a speedy conclusion of the EPA. Not because they favoured its provisions, but because they did not want to lose the duty-free privileges that EU historically had granted to the EAC countries.