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Tristan Kohl receives NWO grant for project on how lobbying determines the rules on international trade

18 May 2023
Associate Professor of International Economics Tristan Kohl
Associate Professor of International Economics Tristan Kohl

Associate Professor of International Economics Tristan Kohl has received a grant of € 400,000 from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) for a project on how lobbying by firms and non-governmental organizations shape the rules on international trade.

The rules governing international trade are contained in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). However, the political decision-making processes behind FTAs often lack transparency, allowing lobby groups to exert undue influence for their own gain. Existing research has predominantly focused on corporate lobbying, leaving a significant gap in understanding how private firms and non-governmental organizations, such as labor unions and environmental groups, lobby on tariffs, labor standards and environmental regulations in trade agreements.

Kohl’s research proposal aims to bridge that gap by investigating how various interest groups, both corporate and non-corporate, lobby on trade policy within FTAs and the extent to which politicians align their votes with the lobbyists' objectives. The study will also assesses the economic merits of lobbying, considering the costs and benefits associated with these activities.

The associate professor looks forward to working on his new project. “I am delighted that NWO has granted this project, which aims to inform public discussions on how lobbyists shape the rules of globalization, and highlights the need for transparent and balanced decision-making processes.”

The NWO Open Competition

With the NWO Open Competition SSH-M grants, NWO offers researchers the opportunity to conduct research into a subject of their own choosing without any thematic constraints. The aim of the Open Competition SSH is to facilitate excellent, non-programmed, curiosity-driven research that primarily addresses a social sciences or humanities research question and research problem.

For more information, please contact Tristan Kohl.

Last modified:19 May 2023 10.29 a.m.

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