The High Stakes of WTO Reform

32 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2010

See all articles by James Thuo Gathii

James Thuo Gathii

Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Date Written: 2006


This article considers reform for the World Trade Organization (WTO) primarily through a review of the book Behind the Scenes at the WTO: The Real World of Trade Negotiations/The Lesson of Cancun (Fatouma Jawara and Aileen Kwa), which exposes how the trade negotiation process makes it possible for a few right countirescountries to dominate the trade agenda at the expense of other countries. Beyond being a book review, however, this article provides new ideas to aide in equalizing the WTO imbalance toward powerful nations. The article focuses on efforts to increase public involvement in order to reduce secrecy, but that alone will be insufficient. Instead, the WTO must focus on the pressing needs of developing countries, such as agricultural reform, in order to provide legitimacy to the organization. Based on these theses, the article will establish the interrelationship with the book Behind the Scenes at the WTO and how the change in framework will bring effective transparency at the WTO for the benefit of Third World nations.

Suggested Citation

Gathii, James Thuo, The High Stakes of WTO Reform (2006). Michigan Law Review, Vol. 104, No. 1361, 2006. Available at SSRN:

James Thuo Gathii (Contact Author)

Loyola University Chicago School of Law ( email )

25 East Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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