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The Influence of the Developing Countries in the Multilateral Trade Negotiations of the Wto Doha Round

  • Date Submitted: 10/10/2011 11:29 AM
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University of Lund Department of Political Science

STV003 ht 2005 Tutor: Jakob Gustavsson

The Influence of the Developing Countries in the Multilateral Trade Negotiations of the WTO Doha Round
A Comparative and Theory Testing Study

Katja Højlund Christensen

Abstract

The WTO Doha Round illustrates the conflict of unequal distribution of influence between the developing and developed countries in multilateral trade negotiations and the changing of power relations over time. This thesis analyzes and explains how the developing countries have influenced the multilateral trade negotiations of the WTO Doha Round using a model of analysis testing and comparing realist and constructivist theories. The realist theory explains the increased cooperation among the developing countries as a way of gaining influence. Their structural weaknesses have driven the developing countries to change the international trade regime by securing a more authoritative regime by changing their power behaviour within the regime. The realist explanation emphasizes the structural variables as constraining the change of regime and of the influence of developing countries, thus making it better at explaining why this change has happened. The constructivist theory explains how the re-thinking and changing of trading rules, roles and behaviour of the developing countries creates a collective identity as multilateral trader and participant instead of protectionist and opponent. This leads to the change in the distribution of influence and power in the international trading regime. The constructivist explanation thereby emphasizes regime change as a social process and thus has an advantage in explaining how the developing countries have gained influence. Key words: WTO, Multilateral Trade Negotiations, Developing Countries, Influence, Regime Change Characters: 83.822

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