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Using negotiation to promote legitimacy: an assessment of proposals for reforming the WTO
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2008 (English)In: International Affairs, ISSN 0020-5850, E-ISSN 1468-2346, Vol. 84, no 4, 757-+ p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How can negotiations be conducted to promote the legitimacy of international institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO)? Can negotiation procedures be designed so as to strengthen the WTO as an institution and the agreements it concludes? One reason for which the legitimacy of the organization is being questioned is its decision-making-especially negotiation-procedures. These have contributed significantly to recent setbacks in WTO talks. Yet proposals for procedural reform have not been subject to much discussion or review, in particular with no regard to content which may boost legitimacy. Justice and other values associated with legitimacy have generally not been addressed by trade experts, and conceptual tools for identifying what practical form their inclusion could take are lacking. This article reviews a variety of proposals, formal and informal, for reforming the WTO's negotiation procedures. It develops an approach to procedural justice which is used to identify the justice content in these proposals, based on four main principles. Drawing on this analysis, the article concludes by highlighting promising elements of reform. In so doing, it brings research literature on justice and negotiation to bear on current debates over the legitimacy deficit in international institutions, using the WTO as a significant case. More practically, the article helps to identify what more legitimate negotiation procedures may mean and require, and how their justice content may be assessed and increased.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 84, no 4, 757-+ p.
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-149518ISI: 000257779600008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-149518DiVA: diva2:405067
Conference Information: Conference on Pathways to Legitimacy - Future of Global and Regional Governance Univ Warwick, Ctr Study Globalisat & Regionalisat, Warwick, ENGLAND, SEP 17-19, 2007 Available from: 2011-03-21 Created: 2011-03-20 Last updated: 2011-03-21Bibliographically approved

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