Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Economics Dept.




In this paper, I intend to expand upon Mastanduno's ground-breaking inquiry by analyzing the motivating factors behind the behavior of the United States in its attempt to establish and maintain an international intellectual property rights regime. The international intellectual property rights system, established at the 1994 Uruguay Round of GATT, represents an international agreement with unprecedented reach into domestic state affairs. This ambitious attempt at establishing a high international norm of intellectual property protection was created as a result of inflexible American resolve. I will attempt to identify the initial impetus that helped define U.S. action--was it relative gains considerations more in line with a realist conception of international relations, or can U.S. behavior be explained more readily by a neoliberal construction? In other words, did the United States work to create TRIPS solely to promote U.S. interests, or did the United States create TRIPS in order to create a universal norm of copyright protection that would benefit all those involved? In addition, what sort of challenges to both U.S. foreign policy and the international economic order result from the rapid proliferation of technology?


Intellectual property -- United States, Intellectual property (International law), Globalization, International economic relations, Free trade -- United States

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