Writing Global Trade Governance operationalises a key post-structuralist methodology in order to expand understanding on the institution at the heart of the global political economy. Despite the WTO’s centrality and the growing popularity of methods utilizing discourse theory, no other text has yet demonstrated how these two fields of learning can be productively combined. The book seeks to move beyond existing literatures that assume the WTO to be a structure, institution or normative framework, in order to enquire into the discursive processes of identity formation that make the WTO both possible and contested.
The book criticises conventional approaches that treat critical civil society as distinct to the WTO, arguing instead that it is only through including such social practices within the field of relations making the WTO that we can properly understand what makes the WTO work. The book presents an empirical analysis of the discursive character of the present-day WTO (including its formation and operation) and then moves on to evaluate how it is subject to change within a broader social context. The final stage of the book seeks to discuss the impact of the findings on future research, both on the WTO and other institutions.
This work is a significant intervention in the literature on the World Trade Organization and the politics of global trade and social movements, and will be of great interest to students and scholars of global governance, discourse theory and international organizations