Amrita Narlikar, Martin Daunton and Robert M. Stern

in The Oxford Handbook on The World Trade Organization

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199586103
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations


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Of all the international organizations and regimes that were negotiated at the end of World War II, at least in fulfilling their immediate mandate, few have had as successful a record as the multilateral trade regime. Governed first by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and succeeded by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the regime has facilitated an impressive reduction in tariff and non-tariff barriers to international trade. This handbook provides a holistic understanding of what the WTO does, how it goes about fulfilling its tasks, why it has reached the point of crisis today despite having a long history of achievements behind it, and how might it contend with current and new challenges. It explores three aspects of the negotiation process: historical process, decision-making and negotiation process, and process as agency. The article also discusses the implementation and enforcement of the WTO agreements, including the trade policy review mechanism and the dispute settlement mechanism, challenges to the system, and proposals for WTO reform.

Keywords: World Trade Organization; multilateral trade; Tariffs and Trade; dispute settlement; reform; decision-making; international trade; negotiation; agency; enforcement

Article.  11720 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations ; Political Economy

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