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2015 | An unequal treaty: TTIP and inequality in Europe
Abstract: TTIP, which is currently negotiated between the EU and the US, is largely portrayed as a blessing and, especially on the European side, backed by communicational campaigns and econometric impact studies with the aim to appease growing criticism among the wider population. However, both the EU Commission’s constant win-win rhetoric and the overly optimistic and simplistic scientific assessments of (willingly) fail to take into account the multiplicity of potential (negative) consequences on European societies, especially if TTIP is purely conducted in the vested interest of transatlantic elites, as well as the financial and corporate sector. A high price that Europe may have to pay is a rise in the actual and (mis-)perceived level of inequality, which again might put the future of the EU at serious risk (e.g., rise of populism, migration pressures, growing imbalances and so forth). Only if citizens in Europe as well as legitimately elected representatives bethink themselves of the long egalitarian and democratic European tradition and start reclaiming their rights in the name of unity, solidarity, and prosperity could TTIP turn out to be beneficial, instead of turning into an ‘unequal treaty’ with Europe at the losing end.
2014 | The spatial dimension of TTIP: De- and re-territorialization in the making
Abstract: The EU and USA proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a free trade agreement (FTA) whose necessity is argued on the basis that it not only has the potential to cover over 50% of global trade in the near future, but also that it will: revitalize the transatlantic partnership, foster trade, create jobs, increase efficiency due to intensified bi-regional competition, besides start forming a counterweight to the Asian and Pacific rise. Accordingly, our paper aims to shed new light on the TTIP debate by addressing its critical aspects and, in particular, by analyzing the negative effects of its underlying spatial reconfigurations. The application of the Deleuzian concepts of deterritorialization and reterritorialization leads to a series of theoretical considerations that explain how TTIP: 1) creates space through the contractual integration of two regions and/or volitional balancing of others, 2) expands space through legal homogenization and common regulatory standards and 3) limits space through the exchange of surveillance data and heightened institutional control over the Internet.