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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: June 2012

7 - International trade

from Part II - The law in world politics

Summary

The fact that most states, most of the time, observe a wide range of rules relating to international economic activities, and that they have, in recent years, been able to agree to a major expansion of the regime governing world trade in the form of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is amongst the clearest pieces of evidence that international law does exercise a real influence on state practice. Other important areas of economic activity that are significantly affected by rules and formal regulation include international finance, intellectual property, sea and air travel, information technology, exploitation of the resources of the sea, nationalisation of foreign owned property and much more. However, the fact that there are many generally recognised rules does not mean that this area is free from controversy. Tensions range from such fundamental issues as the Third World call for the right to development and economic redistribution, to numerous trade disputes and difficult questions arising out of intellectual property law (such as, the right of Third World countries to produce cheaper versions of various anti-AIDS medicines, the patents for which are owned by Western pharmaceutical companies). Hence international economic law, both as specific rules and in terms of the more profound issues it raises, is at the heart of the contemporary world order.

Suggestions for Further Reading
Cottier, Thomas Elsig, Manfred Governing the World Trade Organization: Past, Present and Beyond Doha Cambridge University Press 2011
Grieco, Joseph M Ikenberry, G. John State Power and Global Markets: The International Political Economy New York W. W. Norton 2003
Hoekman, Bernard Kostecki, Michael The Political Economy of the World Trading System New York Oxford University Press 2009
Howse, Robert From politics to technology – and back again: the fate of the multilateral trading regime American Journal of International Law 96 2002
Ikenberry, G. John A world economy restored: expert consensus and the Anglo-American postwar settlement International Organization 46 1992
Narlikar, Amrita The World Trade Organization: A Very Short Introduction Oxford Oxford University Press 2005
Narlikar, Amrita International Trade and Developing Countries: Bargaining Coalitions in the GATT and WTO London Routledge 2003
Odell, John Negotiating Trade: Developing Countries in WTO and NAFTA Cambridge Cambridge University Press 2006
Oxfam 2009 www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/policy/trade/empty-promises-doha-round.html
Shaffer, Gregory Power, governance, and the WTO: a comparative institutional approach Barnett, Michael Duvall, Raymond Power in Global Governance Cambridge Cambridge University Press 2005 130
Van den Bossche, Peter The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organization Cambridge Cambridge University Press 2005
World Trade Organization Understanding the WTO Geneva WTO 2010 www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/understanding_e.pdf
Jackson, John International economic law: reflections of the “boilerroom” of international relations American University Journal of International Law and Policy 6 1995
Jackson, John H Part I: the state of international economic law – 2005 Journal of International Economic Law 8 2005
2005
2005 www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/understanding_e.pdf
Narlikar, Amrita The World Trade Organization: A Very Short Introduction Oxford Oxford University Press 2005
Kindleberger, C. P The rise of free trade in Western Europe, 1820–1875 Journal of Economic History 35 1975
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Barnett, Michael Duvall, Raymond Power in Global Governance Cambridge Cambridge University Press 2005 136
Narlikar, Amrita Fairness in international trade negotiations The World Economy 29 2006 1005
Dunkley, Graham The Free Trade Adventure London Zed Books 2001
2005
Mansfield, Edward D. Reinhardt, Eric Multilateral determinants of regionalism: the effects of GATT/WTO on the formation of preferential trading arrangements International Organization 57 2003 831
Narlikar, Amrita International Trade and Developing Countries: Bargaining Coalitions in the GATT and WTO London Routledge 2003
Ikenberry, G. John A world economy restored: expert consensus and the Anglo-American postwar settlement International Organization 46 1992 289
Howse, Robert From politics to technology – and back again: the fate of the multilateral trading regime American Journal of International Law 96 2002 94
Palmeter, David Mavroidis, Petros The WTO legal system: sources of law American Journal of International Law 92 1998
Princen, Sebastiaan EC compliance with WTO law: the interplay of law and politics European Journal of International Law 15 2004 555
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Cottier, Thomas Nadakavukaren Schefer, Krista The Relationship Between World Trade Organisation Law, National and Regional Law Journal of International Economic Law 83 1998
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