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IP 1 (Phase I): Democratizing global institutions: The WTO as an emerging polity

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is one of the most advanced but also one of the most controversial global intergovernmental organizations. It has been strongly challenged in recent decades by world economic integration, an expanding economic liberalization agenda and an increasingly information-richer world that is more open to civil society. The WTO has been under strong pressure to undertake reforms to become more responsive to the new context and improve its legitimacy.

However, recent difficulties in delivering new agreements or in settling disputes between the main trading nations show that the WTO may have become a more sophisticated organ, but may also have lost its stability. This project aimed to find out if there is a trade-off between legitimacy and efficiency, and if further efforts to open the WTO may paralyze the organization.

More information on the project:

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Project leader:
Prof. Cédric Dupont, IUHEI Geneva

Project member:
Prof. Heinz Hauser, University of St. Gallen

Research assistants:
Ali Arbia, IUHEI Geneva
Simon Schropp, IUHEI Geneva
Philipp Stucki, IUHEI Geneva