The Politics of the World Trade Organisation

University of Cambridge (2011)

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Course Handbook

Core Texts

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WTO publications on WTO.org

Hoekman, Bernard & Michael Kostecki (2009) The Political Economy of the World Trading System: The WTO and beyond (3rd edition) (Oxford: OUP)

Narlikar, Amrita (2005) The World Trade Organization: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: OUP)

Additional Reading

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WTO in Brief

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20 Years of the WTO: a retrospective

Lectures

1. The History of the Multilateral Trading System

The ITO, GATT and WTO

  1. The rationale for an international trade organization
  2. The failure of the ITO and the creation of the GATT
  3. From the GATT to the WTO: continuity and change

Seminar Questions

  1. Explain the creation of the GATT in the light of the failure of the ITO
  2. Critically analyse the successes and failures of the GATT

Reading

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Barton, John, Judith Goldstein, Timothy Josling & Richard Steinberg (2006) The Evolution of the Trade Regime: politics, law and economics of the GATT and the WTO (New Jersey: Princeton UP), Chapter 2

Daunton, Martin (2009) ‘A Tale of Two Conferences: the International Trade Organization, GATT and world trade,’ in Frank Trentmann (ed) Is Free Trade Fair Trade? (London: Smith Institute)

Diebold, William (1952) The End of the ITO, Essays in International Finance, No.16, October 1952, (New Jersey: Princeton UP)

Hoekman, Bernard & Michael Kostecki (2009) The Political Economy of the World Trading System: The WTO and beyond (3rd edition) (Oxford: OUP)

Narlikar, Amrita (2005) The World Trade Organization: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: OUP)


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2. Process and Agency in the WTO

  1. Decision-making and negotiation processes
  2. Empowerment and Agency: the BRICs and the LDCs

Seminar Questions

  1. In what ways have institutional processes evolved in the WTO? Analyse with reference to the GATT as well as the early years of the WTO.
  2. What explains the improved participation of developing countries in the WTO, and how effective is it?

Reading

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Agreement Establishing the WTO

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Narlikar, Amrita (2006) ‘Fairness in International Trade Negotiations,’ The World Economy, Vol.29, No.8, pp.1005-1029

Lee, Donna (2007) ‘The Cotton Club: the Africa Group in the Doha Development Agenda,’ Chapter in Donna Lee & Rorden Wilkinson (eds) The WTO after Hong Kong: progress in, and prospects for, the Doha Development Agenda

Taylor, Ian (2007) ‘The Periphery Strikes Back? The G20 at the WTO,’ Chapter in Donna Lee & Rorden Wilkinson (eds) The WTO after Hong Kong: progress in, and prospects for, the Doha Development Agenda

Kwa, Aileen (2003) Power Politics in the WTO, Bangkok: Focus on the Global South


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3. The Substance of the Agreements and the Doha Development Agenda

sub-heading

  1. GATT, GATs and TRIPS
  2. DSM
  3. TPRM
  4. Evolving mandate: the Doha Development Agenda

Seminar Questions

  1. How effectively were the interests of developing countries represented in the Uruguay Round agreements that also resulted in the creation of the WTO?
  2. What explains the recurrence of deadlock in the Doha negotiations?

Reading

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Refer to the WTO website for a description and explanation of the agreements

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Doha Ministerial Declaration WT/MIN (01)/Dec/1

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Barton, John, Judith Goldstein, Timothy Josling & Richard Steinbert (2006) The Evolution of the Trade Regime: politics, law and economics of the GATT and the WTO (New Jersey: Princeton UP), Chapter 3

Odell, John (ed) (2006) Negotiating Trade: developing countries in the WTO and NAFTA (Cambridge: CUP), Chapters 3 & 4
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    3. Reframing the issue: the WTO coalition on intellectual property and public health

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    4. The strict distributive strategy for a bargaining coalition: the Like Minded Group in the WTO

SEE SIDEBAR
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Baldwin, Robert (2006) ‘Failure of the TWO Ministerial Conference at Cancun: reasons and remedies,’ The World Economy, Vol.29, No.6 (June), pp.677-696

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Clapp, Jennifer (2007) ‘Developing Countries and the WTO Agriculture Negotiations,’ CIGI Working Paper, No.6, March 2006

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Narlikar, Amrita (2010) ‘New Powers in the Club: the challenges of trade governance,’ International Affairs, Vol.86, No.3, pp.717-728


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4. Challenges to the WTO and Directions for Institutional Reform

sub-heading

  1. Democratic Deficit?
  2. Recurrent deadlock
  3. Limitations of the DSM
  4. Regional trade agreements
  5. Global financial crisis

Seminar Questions

  1. If the crisis of the WTO a self-inflicted one?
  2. If you were the leading expert on an international commission for reforming the WTO, what practical directions for reform would you suggest?

Reading

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Dahl, Robert A. (1999) ‘Can International Organizations be Democratic?’ Chapter 2 in Ian Shapiro & Casiano Hacker-Cordón (eds) Democracy’s Edges (Cambridge: CUP)

SEE SIDEBAR
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Keohane, Robert & Joseph Nye Jr, ‘The Club Model of Multilateral Cooperation and the WTO: problems of democratic legitimacy,’ Kennedy School of Government, Visions of Governance in the 21st Century, Working Paper No.4

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Warwick Commission Report (2006) The Multilateral Trade Regime: Which Way Forward?

Narlikar, Amrita (2005) The World Trade Organization: A Very Short Introduction
(Oxford: OUP)

Bhagwati, Jagdish (2004) In Defense of Globalization (Oxford: OUP)

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