Four Charges Against the WTO

Analyse & Kritik 25 (2):275-284 (2003)

Abstract

My comment on the third chapter of Peter Singer's One World consists of two parts. In the first, I criticise a common but simplistic approach to the issue of economic globalisation. This approach presumes that charges against the WTO can be translated - more or less directly - into charges against current development trends of the global economy. The WTO is not the only institution that legally structures the global economy, nor are decisions of the GATT or WTO panel necessarily reliable indicators of the major trends in the ever more integrated world market. It is, moreover, far from clear whether competition between jurisdictions leads to a 'race to the bottom'. In the second part of the paper, I criticise the idea of a general conflict between 'the market' and 'democracy'. I defend the WTO's consensus rule against Singer's charge of being 'a very strange view of democracy' and try to make its benefits clear

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