The WTO and the Future of Multilateral Trade Governance

Project: Research project

Description

The current state of the Multilateral Trade System is such that the contested nature of its future might well be the only consensus, among both practitioners and theorists, that can be established beyond doubt. Inquiries into the reasons for negotiating deadlock prompt a variety of explanations that are informed by or feed into widely diverging narratives about the WTO’s past and present, as well as differential assessments of the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses.

What is also clear is that the system has undergone drastic changes since the launch of the Doha Development Agenda in 2001. The domination of traditional trade powers, namely the EU, the US, Canada, Australia and Japan, has given way to a more complex governance system in which the rising powers, that is to say China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, equally hold significant agency in global trade politics. In addition, the recent revivals of bilateralism and plurilateralism respectively are causing concerns about their systemic implications, specifically as the DDA remains in stalemate. In this project, we investigate the views of trade constituencies in the major players and what they tell us about the likely shape of the Multilateral Trading System to come. Our theoretical goal is to enhance the debate on multilateral cooperation in the 21st century.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date01/11/201230/10/2015

ID: 51387517