Brown argues that internal barriers to trade and competition in these countries were significant obstacles to competition in the global economy and shows that the old market rules were rooted in longstanding political and regional compromises. He describes the process of detailed and difficult intergovernmental collaboration required for the EU, and now Canada and Australia, to produce new market rules. The resulting reforms created new regimes that provide deeper and broader national economic integration in Canada and Australia than in the EU. The new rules entrench neo-liberal values, retaining some room for diversity and flexibility for equity goals. Built on a careful analysis of the differences and similarities in political economy, constitutional design, federal culture, and history of intergovernmental relations in Canada and Australia, Market Rules provides fresh evidence that federal states can be strong and autonomous in the global society, while underscoring the conditions for effective collaboration that make this sustainable.
Rich in detail, broad in scope, Market Rules makes a significant contribution to knowledge about federalism and economic policy-making in the era of globalization.