The World Trade Organization: A Very Short Introduction [#135]
The World Trade Organization: A Very Short Introduction [#135]


  • Answers questions such as 'who needs the WTO, and why?'
  • Does not shy away from the controversy surrounding the organization, and addresses the question of whether it deserves the reputation it has come to acquire.
  • Will appeal to readers with interests in economics, international relations, human rights, and the environment.
  • Relies on extensive primary research involving WTO documents and interviews.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is scarcely ten years old, but even in these early years of its existence it has generated debate, controversy and even outrage. Rulings on beef hormones and tuna-dolphin cases provide graphic examples of how the organization regulates and intrudes into areas of individual consumer choice, ethical preferences, and cultural habits. This deep and far-ranging impact of the WTO on peoples' everyday lives means that it is not just an institution of interest to economists, but to everyone, a fact that was perhaps most graphically illustrated in the popular demonstrations at the 1999 Seattle Ministerial. Such protests have become a regular feature associated with most high-level meetings of the WTO. 

This VSI will provide a timely and carefully considered explanation of what the WTO is, what it does, and how it goes about executing its tasks. A clear understanding of the mandate, structure and functioning of the WTO is essential to appreciate the controversy behind the organization, and how far it deserves the reputation that it has come to acquire. ​



1: Who Needs an International Trade Organization and Why?
2: The Formation of the World Trade Organization
3: Decision Making and Negotiation Processes in the WTO
4: The Mandate of the WTO
5: Enforcing the Agreements: Dispute Settlement and the WTO
6: The Doha Development Agenda
7: The Burden of Governance
Further Reading


Amrita Narlikar is University Lecturer in International Relations at the Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge. She held a lectureship at the University of Exeter (2003-04) and a Junior Research Fellowship at St John's College, Oxford (1999-2003). Her research interests lie in the areas of trade negotiations, developing countries and international economic organizations.

'Narlikar's engagement with public debates is exemplary - a task too rarely attempted by critical scholars in this area. This book is a timely rejoinder to the fledgling study of global governance. An exceptional introduction to the WTO, it also succeeds in doing much more than is says on the tin.' - Craig Berry, Political Studies Review

'The author obviously knows her subject...she succeeds well in giving an account of the organization that is both accessible and engaging... If this is the first thing that a student reads on the WTO, then he or she will be well launched into their enquiry.' - Professor Tony Payne, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield.


ISBN : 9780192806086

Amrita Narlikar
168 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





The World Trade Organization: A Very Short Introduction [#135]

The World Trade Organization: A Very Short Introduction [#135]

The World Trade Organization: A Very Short Introduction [#135]