Politics and the manufacturing of a transatlantic market for civil aviation (1944-2010)
Title: Politics and the manufacturing of a transatlantic market for civil aviation (1944-2010)
Citation: Eric BROUSSEAU and Jean-Michel GLACHANT (eds), The manufacturing of markets : legal, political and economic dynamics, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 271-288
Series/Number: [Loyola de Palacio Chair]
This chapter focuses on the manufacturing of markets in transatlantic aviation. For half a century between the mid-1940s and the mid-1990s, transatlantic trade in air transport services was one of the tightest-regulated markets in the industrial world. Much of this changed in April 2007: in one of the most economically and politically important instances of manufacturing international markets in recent years, the European Union (EU) and the US signed an Open Skies Agreement (OSA). That OSA plans the liberalisation of transatlantic air transport, and the European Commission (Commission) has described it as “historic”, marking a “new era” where “the benefits for consumers could reach €12 billion over the first five years [and] the Agreement could lead to the creation of 80,000 jobs” (European Commission 2007). But if the OSA is so beneficial, why did it not occur earlier? Why wasn’t the Commission, whose instrumental involvement brought such benefits, called upon in the 1990s or even before that? To answer these questions we examine the literature on the history of transatlantic aviation from 1944 to 2010. We present a narrative that covers more than sixty years of international aviation politics, but our focus is on specific interactions between identifiable actors. We wish to understand how the preferences of various actors combined with the strategic environment in which they act played out to produce the institutional and policy outcomes we observe. By doing so, we hope to contribute to an improved understanding of the political economy of manufacturing markets in aviation – and beyond.
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