The Influence of Bilateralism on Multilateralism: The Case of Geographical Indications (in French)
Dynamiques Internationales, No. 3, June 2010
41 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2011 Last revised: 18 Jan 2011
Date Written: June 30, 2010
This empirical research studies the influence of bilateralism on the evolution of positions within the WTO negotiations, taking as case study the negotiations relating to geographical indications. Contrary to the traditional approach – which relies on the systemic opposition between “building blocks” and “stumbling blocks”, it is posited that bilateral and multilateral negotiations should not be considered in a purely alternate perspective, calling for overcoming the weaknesses of the concept of “forum shifting”. According to the approach adopted, the negotiating forums are part of a network forming a single arena of negotiations where the different forums interact. A research protocol aiming at evaluating empirically the influence of bilateralism is then proposed. It establishes a diachronic mapping of the positions in the WTO on the basis of a dichotomy between countries defending “maximalist” and “minimalist” positions towards the protection of geographical indications. The evolution of the positions studied through the dynamic mapping is crossed with three milestones designed to mark the starting of negotiations, the signature and, the entry into force of bilateral agreements that include provisions on geographical indications.
Keywords: Geographical Indications, Bilateralism, Multilateralism, Negotiations, WTO
JEL Classification: F13, K33, Q17, Q18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation