This title was first published in 2000. This text addresses concerns about regional trade agreements. From a variety of political and economic angles, it explains the emergence of trade blocs, their internal policies and politics, and their effects on global trade. It does not provide sequential descriptions and analyses of each of the world's major trading blocs. The focus here is on a number of causal factors that help explain the emergence of trading blocs and the development of their relations to and effects on the multilateral trading system. In each chapter, attempts have been made to draw theoretical and case-based generalizations that may apply to other trade blocs than the used in the empirical analyses.