When the Weak Bargain with the Strong: Negotiations in the World Trade Organization

International Negotiation, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 79-109, 2003

40 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2003

See all articles by Peter Drahos

Peter Drahos

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS); Queen Mary University of London, School of Law; School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet)

Abstract

When a developing country negotiates with a large developed country it generally faces the problem of unequal bargaining power. Within the context of trade negotiations forming coalitions is one natural response to this. However, even in multilateral contexts the sources of bargaining power still operate to advantage the large developed state and developing states do not always gain strength from numbers. The experience of the Uruguay Round, especially the negotiations over intellectual property rights, suggests that developing countries have to think much more creatively about group life and structures for engendering a different kind of group life rather than focusing too much on the institutional reform of the World Trade Organization. Informal and formal groups have different advantages and disadvantages. A more formal structure along the lines proposed in the paper would help developing countries to overcome the weaknesses of informal groups, especially the two-track dilemma. Developing countries need groups that encourage communication amongst themselves, especially in the hard bargaining stages of a trade round. Better communication amongst developing countries is the basis for making calculative trust more robust and allows for possibility of the formation of some level of social identity trust. informal groups, intellectual property rights, Quad, social identity trust, trade negotiation, World Trade Organization

Keywords: bargaining power, Cairns group, calculative trust,

JEL Classification: F1, F13, 01, 019

Suggested Citation

Drahos, Peter, When the Weak Bargain with the Strong: Negotiations in the World Trade Organization. International Negotiation, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 79-109, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=418480 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.418480

Peter Drahos (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law

67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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