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Like many other international organizations, the World Trade Organization stands at a crossroads. There is an obvious imbalance between the organization's dispute settlement arm and its negotiation platform. While its current rules, supported by a strong dispute settlement system, have provided some buffering against the negative effects of the financial crises, its negotiation machinery has not produced any substantial outcomes since the late 1990s. It has become obvious that the old way of doing business does not work any more and fresh ideas about governing the organization are needed. Based on rigorous scholarship, this volume of essays offers critical readings on the functioning of the system and provides policy-relevant ideas that go beyond incremental redesign but avoid the trap of romantic scenarios.
Like many other international organizations, the World Trade Organization stands at a crossroads. There is an obvious imbalance between the organization's dispute settlement arm and its negotiation platform. While its current rules, supported by a strong dispute settlement system, have provided some buffering against the negative effects of the financial crises, its negotiation machinery has not produced any substantial outcomes since the late 1990s. It has become obvious that the old way of doing business does not work any more and fresh ideas about governing the organization are needed. Based on rigorous scholarship, this volume of essays offers critical readings on the functioning of the system and provides policy-relevant ideas that go beyond incremental redesign but avoid the trap of romantic scenarios.
The legitimacy of the WTO's decision-making process has always been questioned, and many have advocated public participation mechanisms as a remedy. Yves Bonzon considers the limits and potential of these mechanisms by advancing a conceptual framework which distinguishes the four 'implementation parameters' of public participation: the goal, the object, the modalities, and the actors. He addresses the issue of legitimacy by considering to what extent, and by virtue of which legal developments, one can see implementing the democratic principle as a goal for public participation in the context of the WTO. By analysing the institutional structure of the WTO and its different types of decisions, he then outlines how this goal should influence the object and modalities of public participation, which decision-making procedures should be opened to public participation, and how the mechanisms should be implemented in practice. Finally, he suggests specific amendments to existing WTO arrangements on public participation.
The institutional shortcomings of the World Trade Organization (WTO) became apparent during the Doha Round of Trade negotiations that began in 2001 and which aimed to improve the success of developing countries' trading by lowering trade barriers and adjusting other trade rules. This "development agenda" meant different things to rich and poor countries. In addition, many of the circumstances that supported success in General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) negotiations of 1947 were no longer present after the WTO was founded in 1995. In Reconstructing the World Trade Organization for the 21st Century, Kent Jones examines the difficulties of the WTO in completing multilateral trade negotiations and possible ways to restore its ability to do so. The problem lies in the institutional structure it inherited from the GATT, which was designed for a more limited scope of trade negotiations among a relatively small number of wealthier, industrialized countries. Jones presents an institutional model of the GATT/WTO system, which describes why such an organization exists and how it is supposed to accomplish its goals. Institutional reforms will be necessary to restore the WTO's ability to complete global trade agreements, including a more flexible application of the consensus rule, a common understanding among all members about the limits of domestic policy space that is subject to negotiation, and clearer rules on reciprocity obligations. The popularity of bilateral and regional trade agreements, which have emerged as the alternative to WTO agreements, presents a threat to the WTO's relevance in trade negotiations, but also an opportunity to "multilateralize" new and deeper trade integration in future WTO agreements. Aid for trade may also play an instrumental role in bringing more developing countries into WTO disciplines. Above all, WTO members must develop new ways to find common ground in order to negotiate for mutual gains from trade.
Discussion of the governance of global trade and the multilateral trading system is too often dominated by developed-country scholars and opinion-makers, with inadequate attention given to developing country perspectives. Making Global Trade Governance Work for Development gathers a diversity of developing country views on how to improve the governance of global trade and the WTO to better advance sustainable development and respond to the needs of developing countries. With contributions by senior scholars, commentators and practitioners, the essays combine new, empirically-grounded research with practical insights about the trade policy-making process. They consider the specific governance issues of interest to developing countries and acknowledge the changing dynamics in the global economy and in trade decision-making.
The development of new digital technologies has resulted in significant transformations in daily life, from the arrival of online shopping to more fundamental changes in the ways we work and communicate. Many of these changes raise questions that transcend market access and liberalisation, and demand cooperation and coherent regulatory design. International trade regulation has hitherto not reacted in a forward-looking manner to the digital revolution and, particularly at the multilateral level, legal engineering has yielded few tangible results. This book examines whether WTO laws possess the necessary flexibility and resilience to accommodate the changes brought about by burgeoning digital trade. By revealing both the potential and the limitations of the WTO framework, it provides a broad picture of the interaction between digital technologies and trade regulation, links the often disconnected discourses of international trade law, intellectual property and cyberlaw and explores discrete problems in different domains of global trade regulation.
This book explores how the EU, as an international actor, is adapting to recent transformations in the multilateral system. The international identity of the European Union is built upon its support for effective multilateralism and its commitment to core norms and values. Until recently, there was no need to choose between these goals. Emerging powers in the international system are not only demanding more power in multilateral institutions, but also sometimes seeking to influence their purpose and function, away from those championed by the EU. This presents a dilemma for EU foreign policy – framed in this edited volume as either accommodating changes in order to support multilateral institutions or entrenching the EU position in order to uphold values. Using a common analytical framework, the chapters include case studies on important multilateral institutions such as the United Nations Security Council, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the International Criminal Court, as well as key policy areas such as energy, climate change, nuclear non-proliferation, and human rights.

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