Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Redesigning the Negotiation Process at the WTO


Author Info

  • Sonia E. Rolland
Registered author(s):


    The negotiation structure at the World Trade Organization (WTO) primarily relies on the single undertaking, an all or nothing approach that typically precludes separate agreements among some of the parties or on some of the agenda items. This article argues for a re-examination of the value of the single undertaking, particularly with reference to developing country Members. With respect to the substantive negotiations, 'linkage' (the inter-dependent regulation of trade and other fields that are deemed to have an impact on trade) has been a powerful principle for the expansion of WTO regulation and the single undertaking has, so far, served as the vector to implement linkage. As a counterpoint, this article argues that linkage can--and should be--decoupled from negotiation design, particularly from the unquestioned and systematic recourse to the single undertaking. The article offers avenues for redesigning negotiations beyond the old dichotomy of the single undertaking versus 'à-la-carte' approaches. It proposes alternative negotiation structures that take into account the practical realities of many WTO Members with limited institutional capacity as well as the desirability for some Members to liberalize trade at a faster pace. Oxford University Press 2010, all rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of International Economic Law.

    Volume (Year): 13 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 65-110

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:13:y:2010:i:1:p:65-110

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
    Fax: 01865 267 985
    Web page:

    Order Information:

    Related research



    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.



    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:13:y:2010:i:1:p:65-110. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.