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Redesigning the World Trade Organization for the Twenty-first Century

Debra P.Steger

Publication Year: 2009

Two high-level commissions—the Sutherland report in 2004, and the Warwick Commission report in 2007—addressed the future of the World Trade Organization and made proposals for incremental reform. This book goes further; it explains why institutional reform of the WTO is needed at this critical juncture in world history and provides innovative, practical proposals for modernizing the WTO to enable it to respond to the challenges of the twenty-first century. Contributors focus on five critical areas: transparency, decision- and rule-making procedures, internal management structures, participation by non-governmental organizations and civil society, and relationships with regional trade agreements.

Co-published with the International Development Research Centre and the Centre for International Governance Innovation

Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

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pp. vii-xii

Before the end of World War II, an essential element in maintaining the peace and ensuring future economic prosperity was the establishment of three intergovernmental organizations that would work in concert toward economic...

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Acknowledgements

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pp. xiii-xvi

This book is the result of a collaborative research project organized by the Emerging Dynamic Global Economies (EDGE) Network together with research institutes and experts around the world. The project was generously...

List of Acronyms

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pp. xvii-

PART I: Why Institutional Reform Is Necessary

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1. Why Institutional Reform of the WTO Is Necessary

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pp. 3-10

This book emanates from an international, collaborative project on institutional reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO), organized by the Emerging Dynamic Global Economies (EDGE) Network and funded by Networks of Centres of Excellence Canada and the International Development...

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2. Reinvigorating Debate on WTO Reform: The Contours of a Functional and Normative Approach to Analyzing the WTO System

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pp. 11-40

The debate on institutional reform and governance of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has now been underway for over 15 years.2 In 1999, only five years after the creation of the WTO, the collapse of the...

PART II: Decision-Making in the WTO

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3. A Two-Tier Approach to WTO Decision-Making

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pp. 43-66

Institutions, structures, and procedures are not ends in themselves. They serve and facilitate the attainment of substantive goals. Domestic political processes are shaped by constitutional law with a view to achieving and...

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4. WTO Decision-Making: Can We Get a Little Help from the Secretariat and the Critical Mass?

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pp. 67-90

The current design of the international organization system regulating the world economy was conceived by a small group of experts and politicians from the United States and Great Britain in the early 1940s. The mandates...

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5. Improvements to the WTO Decision-Making Process: Lessons from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank

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pp. 91-126

A comparative assessment of the internal governance of the WTO, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a valuable tool to improve...

PART III: Internal Management of the WTO

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6. Internal Management of the WTO: Room for Improvement

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pp. 129-162

The focus of this book is on the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an institution. As we know, the WTO faces many challenges. Some commentators believe it faces a legitimacy crisis.2 While the difficulties of the Uruguay Round...

PART IV: Transparency and Domestic Consultation

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7. From the Periphery to the Centre? The Evolving WTO Jurisprudence on Transparency and Good Governance

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pp. 165-192

This chapter traces the jurisprudence of Article X of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) of 1994.1 Article X is significant because it 'goes to the heart of a country's legal infrastructure, and more precisely to the nature and enforcement of its administrative law...

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8. Selective Adaptation of WTO Transparency Norms and Local Practices in China and Japan

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pp. 193-218

This article discusses compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) transparency measures in the context of China and Japan's implementation of the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement...

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9. Domestic Politics and the Search for a New Social Purpose of Governance for the WTO: A Proposal for a Declaration on Domestic Consultation

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pp. 219-256

Clarification and enlargement of the role of non-state actors has been a recurring theme in discussions on World Trade Organization (WTO) institutional reform. The usual emphasis is on an enhanced role for civil society actors, including both value-based international NGOs and private interests...

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10. Enhancing Business Participation in Trade Policy-Making: Lessons from China

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pp. 257-284

Transparency not only helps to dispel unfounded fears and counter misinformation, it constitutes a principal and vital element of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Transparency obligations on WTO Members can be found in Article X of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade...

PART V: Public Participation

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11. Options for Public Participation in the WTO: Experience from Regional Trade Agreements

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pp. 287-308

Since the early days of the World Trade Organization (WTO), numerous commentators in the political and legal fields have challenged the traditional view according to which inputs from civil society actors...

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12. Non-Governmental Organizations and the WTO: Limits to Involvement?

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pp. 309-360

The importance of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as international actors has increased sharply over the last decades. Since 1945, when NGOs were explicitly recognized as actors on the international scene by Article 71 of the United Nations Charter, NGOs have become...

PART VI: Regional Trade Agreements and the WTO

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13. Accommodating Developing Countries in the WTO: From Mega-Debates to Economic Partnership Agreements

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pp. 363-388

The debate about accommodating developing countries in international organizations is an old one. International trade arrangements have achieved some success in this regard, such as the recognition of least developed...

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14. Saving the WTO from the Risk of Irrelevance: The WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism as a ‘Common Good’ for RTA Disputes

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pp. 389-416

Over the past few decades, Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs)1 have mushroomed worldwide.2 The consensus in trade circles now is that 'regionalism is here to stay',3 'will [not] disappear',4 and that 'little can...

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15. Regional Trade Agreements and the WTO: The Gyrating Gears of Interdependence

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pp. 417-436

In order to map a route it first helps to know where you are going. Before delving into the challenges posed by proliferating regional and preferential trade agreements, it is necessary to outline some central assumptions that...

Bibliography

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pp. 437-454

Contributors

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pp. 455-460

Index

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pp. 461-475


E-ISBN-13: 9781554581740
E-ISBN-10: 1554581745
Print-ISBN-13: 9781554581566
Print-ISBN-10: 1554581567

Page Count: 498
Publication Year: 2009

Series Title: Studies in International Governance

Research Areas

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