Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Reforming WTO-Civil Society Engagement

  • Erin Hannah (a1), James Scott (a2) and Rorden Wilkinson (a3)
Abstract
Abstract

Civil society organizations are often seen as playing a crucial role in helping to mitigate the exclusion of weaker states, giving voice to marginalized communities, and raising environmental and developmental concerns within the trade system. The politicization and demystification of the global trade agenda by civil society also opens up space for a more diverse set of actors to influence trade negotiations. This article examines the evolution of the WTO secretariat's engagement with civil society within this context and argues that the dominant mode of engagement, as manifest in WTO Public Forums and civil society participation in ministerial conferences, is no longer fit for purpose. Rather it reflects an outmoded strategy that once served to underscore the existence and value of the WTO as an international organization and works to neutralize political contestation and publicly promote the benefits of free trade. It is now in need of reform.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Email: rorden.wilkinson@sussex.ac.uk.
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

T. Brühl (2010), Representing the People? NGOs in International Negotiations’, in J. Steffek and K. Hahn (eds.), Evaluating Transnational NGOs: Legitimacy, Accountability, Representation, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

M. T. Buntaine (2015), ‘Accountability in Global Governance: Civil Society Claims for Environmental Performance at the World Bank’, International Studies Quarterly, 59(1): 99111.

D. de Bièvre (2014), ‘A Glass Quite Empty: Issue Groups’ Influence in the Global Trade Regime’, Global Policy, 5(2): 222228.

C. Deere-Birbeck (2011), Making Global Trade Governance Work for Development: Perspectives and Priorities from Developing Countries, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

M. Eagleton-Pierce (2012), Symbolic Power in the World Trade Organization, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

B. He and H. Murphy (2007), ‘Global Social Justice at the WTO? The Role of NGOs in Constructing Global Social Contracts’, International Affairs, 83(4): 707727.

R. Higgott and E. Erman (2010), ‘Deliberative Global Governance and the Question of Legitimacy: What Can We Learn from the WTO?’, Review of International Studies, 36(2): 449470.

K. Hopewell (2015), ‘Multilateral Trade Governance as Social Field: Global Civil Society and the WTO’, Review of International Political Economy, 22(6): 11281158.

R. Howse (2002), ‘From Politics to Technocracy – and Back Again: The Fate of the Multilateral Trading Regime’, American Journal of International Law, 96(94): 94117.

G. Marceau (ed.) (2015), A History of Law and Lawyers in the GATT/WTO: The Development of the Rule of Law in the Multilateral Trading System, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

M. Pianta (2014), ‘Slowing Trade: Global Activism against Trade Liberalization’, Global Policy, 5(2): 214221.

J. Scott and R. Wilkinson (2010), ‘What Happened to Doha in Geneva? Re-Engineering the WTO's Image while Missing Key Opportunities’, European Journal of Development Research, 22(2): 141153.

J. Steffek and U. Ehling (2008), ‘Civil Society Participation at the Margins: The Case of the WTO’, in J. Steffek , C. Kissling , and P. Nanz (eds.), Civil Society Participation in European and Global Governance: A Cure for the Democratic Deficit? Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 95115

R. Wilkinson (2006), ‘The WTO in Hong Kong: What It Really Means for the Doha Development Agenda’, New Political Economy, 11(2): 291303.

R. Wilkinson , E. Hannah , and J. Scott (2016), ‘The WTO in Nairobi: The Demise of the Doha Development Agenda and the Future of the Multilateral Trading System’, Global Policy, 7(2): 247255.

M. Williams (2011), ‘Civil Society and the WTO: Contesting Accountability’, in J. A. Scholte (ed.), Building Global Democracy: Civil Society and Accountable Global Governance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 105127.

C. Woll (2013), ‘Global Companies as Agenda Setters in the World Trade Organization’. in J. Mikler (ed.), The Handbook of Global Companies, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 257271.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

World Trade Review
  • ISSN: 1474-7456
  • EISSN: 1475-3138
  • URL: /core/journals/world-trade-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 30 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 82 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 14th February 2017 - 29th April 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.