Distributed Governance at the WTO-WIPO: An Evolving Model for Open-Architecture Integrated Governance
Journal of International Economic Law, p. 63, 2000
19 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2000 Last revised: 31 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2000
WTO governance has traditionally reflected the interests of producers channeled through government trade negotiators. The producer-driven governance model is not suited to the highly integrated international society of the 21st century. The WTO governance structure should be adapted to account for more diverse interests, including those of marginalized developing countries, NGOs, and individuals. One aspect of this adaptation should involve more highly integrated relations between the WTO and other multilateral institutions. The inter-institutional relationship that has evolved between the WTO and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) since the conclusion of the Uruguay Round evidences a number of characteristics that might usefully form the basis for relations between the WTO and other international organizations. The WTO-WIPO relationship effectively enhances the breadth of subject matter interests and the administrative capacity of each organization, and it provides a suitable forum for the negotiation of incremental and experimental intellectual property rules that are needed in response to technological change. A second aspect of institutional adaptation concerns increasing the participation of wider segments of international society in multilateral rule-making. The WIPO Internet Domain Name Process was a unique governance exercise that employed elements of direct democracy at the international level and the management of an organizational bureaucracy (the WIPO International Bureau). This type of process might usefully be employed in other contexts, such as by the FAO/WHO in developing health and safety guidelines in connection with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
JEL Classification: F02
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation