Amrita Narlikar

How not to negotiate: the case of trade multilateralism

International Affairs | 2022


  • Abstract

    Trade multilateralism would not have featured as a case of ‘abject failure’ had this special issue been planned in 2001. But since then, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has unfortunately become an almost perfect example of how not to negotiate, even when one takes into account the limited successes of the 12th ministerial conference in June 2022. This article proceeds in four steps. The first section outlines the multiple levels of malfunction and breakdown in the organization. The second part argues that a variety of negotiation failures are responsible for the dire straits in which the WTO finds itself today. I identify three broad categories of bargaining failures in this member-driven organization: negotiation mishaps that have led to the Doha deadlocks; negotiation muddles that members have got themselves into while updating the institutional practices of the WTO; and failures on the part of the membership to find negotiated solutions to new systemic challenges. The third section reflects on the interaction of my own research with the world of policy. The fourth and concluding section presents the main ‘Dos’ and ‘Don'ts’ that follow from the analysis, and offers some further policy recommendations.

    Journal

    International Affairs

    Volume

    98

    Number

    5

    Pages

    1553–1573

    Comic on the article "How not to negotiate: the case of trade multilateralism".
    © Cartoon by Sequential Potential Comics, www.sequentialpotential.com
    Comic on the article "How not to negotiate: the case of trade multilateralism".
    © Cartoon by Sequential Potential Comics, www.sequentialpotential.com

    Cooperation Event | 24/05/2023

    Insights on the Transfer for Transformation Project and the How-not-to guide for International Relations

    Transfer for Transformation: How Not to Bridge the Gap between Academia and Policy, Online Event Organisers: Bridging the Gap, German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar (Speaker)

    A reflection on academic exchange with the policy world. Experts of international relations discuss worst and best practices for publicly engaged scholarship, drawing on the centenary special issue of International Affairs, a “how not to guide” for international relations, co-edited by Prof. Amrita Narlikar.

    Cooperation Event | 28/11/2022 - 30/11/2022

    Liberal Script(s) — Asian Versions and Contestations of a Concept

    Liberal Script(s) — Asian Versions and Contestations of a Concept, The Lalit, Barakhamba Avenue, Connaught Place, New Delhi and online Organisers: SCRIPTS Cluster of Excellence "Contestations of the Liberal Script", German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Jawaharlal Nehru University Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar (Organiser, Chair, Panelist, Discussant), Prof. Dr. Michael Zürn (Organiser)

    Under the lead of GIGA President Prof. Amrita Narlikar and Prof. Michael Zürn, the SCRIPTS Conference addressed the broad theme of Asian scripts (liberal or not) and asked how Asian states organise themselves and ally/partner with each other based on these scripts’ political/ economic features.

    Prof. Dr. Michael Zürn

    Notification

    Sign up to receive email notifications about GIGA activities

    Social Media

    Follow us