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The World Trade Organization: A Very Short Introduction

Amrita Narlikar

Publication Date - 03 November 2005

ISBN: 9780192806086

168 pages

In Stock

A probling look at the World Trade Organization and how it works


The World Trade Organization (WTO) is scarcely ten years old, but it has already generated a mountain of debate, controversy, and outrage. Rulings on beef hormones and tuna-dolphin cases provide explicit examples of how the organization regulates into areas of individual consumer choice, ethical preferences, and cultural habits. The 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 by the demonstrations that have become a regular feature associated with high-level meetings of the WTO. This book provides a carefully considered explanation of what the WTO is, what it does, and how it goes about executing its tasks, and gives a clear understanding of the mandate, structure, and functioning of the WTO that is essential to appreciating the controversy behind the organization.


  • Answers questions such as 'who needs the WTO, and why?'
  • Does not shy away from the controversy surrounding the organization, and addresses the question of whether it deserves the reputation it has come to acquire.
  • Will appeal to readers with interests in economics, international relations, human rights, and the environment.
  • Relies on extensive primary research involving WTO documents and interviews.

About the Author(s)

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.

Table of Contents

    1. Who Needs an International Trade Organization and Why?
    2. The Formation of the World Trade Organization
    3. Decision Making and Negotiation Processes in the WTO
    4. The Mandate of the WTO
    5. Enforcing the Agreements: Dispute Settlement and the WTO
    6. The Doha Development Agenda
    7. The Burden of Governance
    Further Reading