The 737 Max and the Changing World Politics of Regulation
In “All Politics Is Global,” I examined the politics of regulatory standards in a globalized economy. The argument is straightforward. The power to set standards is a significant one in the global economy, and the key source of that power comes from consumption and not production. Large-market jurisdictions have the ability to set standards that can dominate the rest of the world.
When the book was written in 2007, the jurisdictions that mattered were the United States and the European Union. If they agreed on a common regulatory rule, that became the global standard. If they disagreed, the result was an outcome of rival standards or sham standards. I noted in the conclusion, however, that this bipolar world of global regulation was changing: “The increased number of great powers also implies reduced market and coercive power for each core state vis-a-vis the rest of the world. Therefore, as the distribution of economic power increases, so should regulatory divergence.” The next few paragraphs consisted of fancy academic prose saying “*COUGH* China *COUGH*”