Building Democratic Global Governance of Trade: Engaging Civil Society Organizations

By Wenyuan Wu.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 4, 2016 $US5.00

Global governance as a necessary mechanism to manage transnational affairs in the age of globalization has been increasingly undertaken by international organizations. In the realm of international trade, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. However, the WTO has been under scrutiny for its lack of democratic accountability. Under this context, civil societies at global, regional, national, and local levels have been empowered by globalization to demand more voice in global trade affairs. This paper examines how civil society organizations (CSOs) can help the WTO solve its democratic deficit. Through process-tracing, social network analysis, and discourse analysis, the paper demonstrates different processes through which various CSOs can contribute democratic governance of the WTO. The possibility and necessity of CSOs-WTO engagement are further evidenced via a single case study of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). All in all, the WTO and CSOs can collectively contribute to more effective and legitimate mechanisms of global governance.

Keywords: Global Governance, Global Trade, Civil Society Organizations

The Global Studies Journal, Volume 9, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.27-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 4, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 568.811KB)).

Wenyuan Wu

PhD Candidate and Research Fellow, Department of International Studies, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA


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