Rising economies face a crucial dilemma when establishing their position on international patent law. Should they translate their increasing economic strength into political power to further developing countries’ interests in lower levels of international patent protection? Or,
anticipating a rising domestic interest in stronger international patent protection, should they adopt a position that favours maximal patent protection? Drawing on multiple case studies using a most-similar system design, we argue that rising economies, after having been coerced into adopting
more stringent patent standards, tend to display ambivalent positions, trapped in bureaucratic politics and caught between conflicting domestic constituencies. We find that the recent proliferation of international institutions and the expansion of transnational networks have contributed to
fragmentation and polarisation in domestic patent politics. As a result, today’s emerging economies experience a more tortuous transformative process than did yesterday’s. This finding is of particular relevance for scholars studying rising powers, as well as for those working
on policy diffusion, regulatory regimes, transnational networks and regime complexes.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Political Science, Laval University, Quebec, Canada
Global Studies Institute, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
Faculty of Law, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Department of Communication and Multimedia, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
May 4, 2018
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