The World Trade Organization: A Very Short Introduction

Front Cover
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is scarcely ten years old, but even in these early years of its existence it has generated debate, controversy and even outrage. Rulings on beef hormones and tuna-dolphin cases provide graphic examples of how the organization regulates and intrudes into areas of individual consumer choice, ethical preferences, and cultural habits. This deep and far-ranging impact of the WTO on peoples' everyday lives means that it is not just an institution of interest to economists, but to everyone, a fact that was perhaps most graphically illustrated in the popular demonstrations at the 1999 Seattle Ministerial. Such protests have become a regular feature associated with most high-level meetings of the WTO. This VSI will provide a timely and carefully considered explanation of what the WTO is, what it does, and how it goes about executing its tasks. A clear understanding of the mandate, structure and functioning of the WTO is essential to appreciate the controversy behind the organization, and how far it deserves the reputation that it has come to acquire. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
 

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Contents

1 Who needs an international trade organization?
1
2 The creation of the World Trade Organization
22
3 Decisionmaking and negotiation processes
42
4 The expanding mandate
59
5 Settling disputes
85
6 The Doha Development Agenda
99
7 The burden of governance
122
Further reading
139
Index
145
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About the author (2005)


Amrita Narlikar is University Lecturer in International Relations at the Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge. She held a lectureship at the University of Exeter (2003-04) and a Junior Research Fellowship at St John's College, Oxford (1999-2003). Her research interests lie in the areas of trade negotiations, developing countries and international economic organizations.