Resisting Integration? Activist Responses to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Negotiations

Maria Garcia

Deep and comprehensive new free trade agreements have heightened tensions between winners and losers from economic liberalisation. Although all FTAs trigger some civil society engagement (in favour and against) the level of mobilisation and problematisation dramatically increases when the USA is involved in the negotiations. The EU-Canada FTA, seen as a precursor to TTIP, has not garnered the same level of attention and contestation as TTIP. Although civil society groups reject the imposition of certain issues, the degree of articulation of this differs from one set of negotiations to another. This article uses surveys to gather data from civil society organisations, and interviews with leaders in the StopTTIP coalition, and analyses the conditions that lead to greater mobilisation. It explores the dynamics of civil society contestation in Europe against TTIP by focusing on the degree to which mobilisation is mediated by perceptions of the USA as a still hegemonic power wielding asymmetrical power in the relationship, as well as perceptions of the agreement creating a new dynamic of transatlantic integration.

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