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The populist wave and global trade diplomacy besieged: a European approach to WTO reform

Geoffrey Allen Pigman
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Geoffrey Allen Pigman: University of Pretoria

Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 2018, vol. 14, issue 1, 11-21

Abstract: Abstract A transnational wave of popular anger over liberal trade and the diplomacy that facilitates it was evident in the Brexit and Trump elections of 2016. Drawing upon an understanding of how the diplomacy of international trade has undergone successive transformations over the past two centuries, this article seeks to understand how institutions that facilitate trade diplomacy, such as the World Trade Organizations, increasingly fail to meet the expectations of the global public. The article contends that excessive ‘judicialization’ of WTO trade diplomacy has marginalized the WTO’s all-important legislative and executive functions. WTO institutional reforms are proposed to make the WTO’s institutional structure more akin to that of the European Union, which has been relatively more successful at facilitating trade diplomacy with popular legitimacy.

Keywords: Diplomacy; Trade; World Trade Organization; European Union; Transformation; Multilateralism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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