Chicago's Best Ideas: Anu Bradford, "The Brussels Effect: The Rise of a Regulatory Superstate in Europe"
It is common to hear Europe described today as the power of the past. Europe is perceived to be weak militarily. Its relative economic power is declining as Asia’s is rising. Its common currency may be on the verge of disintegrating. On the world stage, the European Union is thought to be waning into irrelevance due to its inability to speak with one voice. Contrary to this prevalent perception, "the Brussels Effect" highlights a deeply underestimated aspect of European power that the discussion on globalization and power politics overlooks: Europe’s unilateral power to regulate global commerce. It explains how Europe is successfullyexporting its legal institutions and standards—ranging from antitrust and privacy to health and environmental regulation—to the rest of the world and why the markets, other states and international institutions can do little to constrain Europe's global regulatory agenda.