I am grateful to Rob Baldwin, Damian Chalmers, Elizabeth Fisher, Maria Lee, and Eckhard Rehbinder for comments on an earlier version of this article. Any mistakes are mine.
Globalizing Regulation: Reaching Beyond the Borders of Chemical Safety
Version of Record online: 24 FEB 2009
© 2009 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2009 Cardiff University Law School
Journal of Law and Society
Volume 36, Issue 1, pages 110–128, March 2009
How to Cite
Heyvaert, V. (2009), Globalizing Regulation: Reaching Beyond the Borders of Chemical Safety. Journal of Law and Society, 36: 110–128. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6478.2009.00459.x
- Issue online: 24 FEB 2009
- Version of Record online: 24 FEB 2009
This article argues that although globalization can benefit both exporters and importers of regulation in absolute terms, it may turn the globalization of regulation into a game with relative winners and losers. Using the EU REACH Regulation of chemicals as a case study, it explores the normative, social, economic, and strategic reasons that push the EU to promote the global adoption of REACH. Notwithstanding its attractions, rules globalization may result in a mismatch between global norms and local priorities, particularly for developing countries. It reduces regulatory diversity, and amplifies the strengths but equally the weaknesses of the dominant regulatory framework. While it can foster international trade through mutual recognition of regulatory decisions and the development of transnational regulatory frameworks, it increases the likelihood of conflict and trade flow desequilibria. The article calls for further careful consideration of rules globalization, so that harmonization does not come at the expense of local interests and values.