Call for Submissions - Special Issue on Revisiting WTO's Role in Global Governance


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Founded in 2009, the philosophy of Trade, Law and Development has been to generate and sustain a constructive and democratic debate on emergent issues in International Economic Law and to serve as a forum for the discussion and distribution of ideas. In keeping with these ideals, the Board of Editors is pleased to announce Revisiting WTO's Role in Global Governance as the theme for its 10th Anniversary Special Issue (Vol. X, No. 1).

The WTO has often been at the centre of various debates which concern the organisation‟s legitimacy and accountability. Some of these have been longstanding while the others are new, but what they share in common is a reflection of public concern about rising inequality and vulnerability in the global economy. Perhaps most importantly, there is still a question mark over trade rules as they exist and the impact that they have on the sustainable goals that States desire to achieve - be it economic, environmental or social. In this anniversary issue, TL&D attempts to take these debates forward by bringing together diverse views, critiques and solutions that address the current and future role of the WTO in global governance.

As all anniversaries should be, this issue is as much about retrospection as it is about forward thinking, and thus, the goal is to also carefully assess the effectiveness of the system in place. Change must be sought and pursued with care, so as to preserve the many strengths of the system while responding to its legitimate distresses. Thus, we seek responses to the current system so that we may arrive at reforms for the future, specifically targeting below mentioned areas of focus.

Areas of Focus

  • The past decade has added to the possibilities of "trade and" issues and now includes an array of disciplines that WTO rules may intersect - climate change, human rights, cross border data flows, food security and international financial regulation, to name a few. How well suited is the WTO as a forum for developing rules on these novel issues, and what changes are required to equip it to tackle these issues? What should the focus be on - improving the old or devising something new?
  • Recent backlash faced by global institutionalism at the hands of geopolitical forces such as "Brexit‟ and the US Presidency put into question the effectiveness of the system. Is the WTO fading into irrelevancy or is it all the more relevant?
  • Established in 1995, the WTO is an organisation built predominantly on rules and dispute settlement mechanisms adopted in the last century. How is the institution keeping pace with 21st Century trade and investment that is carried out by Global Value Chains and subject to the ever growing web of bilateral and regional rules? Does the threat of being marginalised really loom so large? How can the WTO adapt to or perhaps even complement international rules beyond the covered agreements?
  • The WTO has a considerable impact on domestic regulatory structures and the importance of Non-State Actors (NSAs) cannot be emphasized enough. The various benefits associated with NSAs are that they can promote messages about trade to the general populace, help governments monitor if other countries are keeping their commitments and help contribute to the discourse by offering different viewpoints. However, questions arise regarding the balance in negotiating power between the government and NSAs, and the push and pull between government control and stakeholder participation. What is the proper balance to be achieved and how should it vary across issue areas at the WTO?

This Special Issue, currently scheduled for publication in Summer 2018, will provide an ideal platform to deliberate on these areas of focus. Accordingly, the Board of Editors is pleased to invite original and unpublished submissions for the Special Issue on Revisiting WTO's Role in Global Governance for publication as 'Articles', 'Notes', 'Comments' and 'Book Reviews'.

Manuscripts may be submitted via e-mail, ExpressO, or the TL&D website. For further information and submission guidelines, please visit the Journal's website:

In case of any queries, please feel free to contact us at: editors[at]tradelawdevelopment[dot]com.

Last date for submissions: 28th February, 2018

ISSN: 0976-2329 | eISSN: 0975-3346 | © 2009-13 Trade, Law and Development |   open access

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