Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk: Reviving Global Trade and Development after Doha
53 Pages Posted: 3 May 2014 Last revised: 5 May 2014
Date Written: March 20, 2013
The collapse of the Doha “Development” Round of WTO trade negotiations marked the end of a decade of dashed hopes and recriminations. Drawing on the insights of international relations theory and comparative political institutionalism, this Article suggests that Doha’s demise can be attributed, at least in part, to the legal-discursive shortcomings of the international trading system — that is, a lack of means to identify, express, and reconcile competing normative claims of trade and development. As a means of addressing this defect and enhancing the effectiveness of the international trading system, this Article presents the concept of development rights as a descriptive and prescriptive framework for expressing ideas regarding the appropriate boundaries of international economic law in development-specific contexts. In contrast to existing doctrinal and normative explanations, this Article critically examines in a new light the access to essential medicines campaign during the Doha Round as a case study that illustrates the applications and limitations of development rights.
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