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.
• Outlines how the WTO is governed and the challenges it will face in the twenty-first century • Discusses various explanations for the difficulties in governing the WTO, and allows readers to understand how the organization has reached deadlock in negotiations • Maps a variety of pathways to reform, from small steps to radical overhaul
1. Introduction Thomas Cottier and Manfred Elsig; 2. The origins and back to the future: a conversation with Ambassador Julio Lacarte; 3. After globalization? WTO reform and the new global political economy Tony McGrew; 4. Internal measures in the multilateral trading system: where are the borders of the WTO agenda? Marion Jansen; 5. Legitimising global economic governance through transnational parliamentarisation: how far have we come? How much further must we go? Markus Krajewski; 6. Adapting to new power balances: institutional reform in the WTO Amrita Narlikar; 7. Delegation chains, agenda control, and political mobilisation: how the EU Commission tries to affect domestic mobilisation on the DDA Bart Kerremans; 8. Developing countries and monitoring WTO commitments in response to the global economic crisis Chad Bown; 9. Exploring the limits of institutional coherence in trade and development Kent Jones; 10. The WTO as a 'living instrument': the contribution of consensus decision-making and informality to institutional norms and practices Mary Footer; 11. Crisis situations and consensus seeking: adaptive decision making in the FAO and applying its lessons to the reform of the WTO Robert Kissack; 12. A post-Montesquieu analysis of the WTO Steve Charnovitz; 13. Reforming the WTO: the decision-making triangle revisited Manfred Elsig and Thomas Cottier; 14. Barriers to WTO reform: intellectual narrowness and the production of path-dependent thinking Rorden Wilkinson.
'… another useful and interesting examination of the sick patient called the WTO.' Nikolaos Lavranos, The Common Market Law Review