A Great Transformation in World Trade Law

Can the WTO stay afloat?
  • David G. Victor
  • Rebecca U. Weiner


Many international relations theorists argue that the rising flow of goods, services, and money is eroding state power. Businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and disaggregated states are now the key actors in the international arena. Transnational links between nonstate actors are supplanting the state and state-controlled international institutions.1 We offer the alternative perspective that globalization requires more of states and intergovernmental fora, not less. States remain at the center of an evolving international arena; they continue to be the agents and enforcers of policy, and the most capable enforcement mechanisms are state-dominated intergovernmental fora. Yet governments must now exert their power in a far more complex and constraining environment. This new environment asks them to exercise unprecedented maturity and sophistication. It asks that they be accommodating and flexible, that they make subtler and more sophisticated policy decisions even as their leverage over their own national policy declines. Most important, it requires that governments pick their battles wisely.


World Trade Organization Problem Case Uruguay Round Great Transformation World Trade Organization Rule 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • David G. Victor
  • Rebecca U. Weiner

There are no affiliations available

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