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In Pursuit of Compliance: Lessons from the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Mechanism
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to examine if there is a problem with compliance in the World Trade Organization, to investigate the validity of the managerial and the political economy approaches to compliance and to analyze reform proposals that tackle the issue of compliance, pursuing improvement of the system.

Drawing on the scenario of increasing legalization and cooperation in trade, the first question is examined by way of interviewing trade experts and officials as well as analyzing case studies that are pertinent to the research at hand. The second question – if management is preferred to enforcement as to induce compliance – is answered by analyzing official WTO Dispute Settlement reports, interviews, case reviews and articles on retaliation and compliance written by different authors. The third question is answered as a reflection of the findings of the first two questions.

Analysis on the managerial theory of compliance examine whether enforcement plays a minor role in inducing compliance in the WTO, if there is a propensity to comply amongst states and if noncompliance is inadvertent rather than a result of calculation of interests. In the other hand, tests conducted on the enforcement approach to compliance investigate the importance of retaliation in WTO Dispute Settlement, the necessity of an enforcement tool and the claim that noncompliance is a political decision.

Tests conducted suggest that the enforcement school of compliance is correct when stating that noncompliance is a political decision, resulted from careful calculation of interests. The research indicates that the WTO Dispute Settlement presents a dual facet of compliance, in which the enforcement tool is responsible for allowing the managerial effects to take place. In this regard, the enforcement tool alone is seen as inappropriate, especially if economic asymmetries are present. An approach that accommodates both enforcement and managerial aspects is prescribed.

The research has indicated that successful reform proposals should aim at increasing the credibility of the threat of retaliation as to follow the diagnosis verified by the tests conducted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling , 2007. , 89 p.
Keyword [en]
WTO, compliance, international law, dispute settlement
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-10119ISRN: LIU-EKI/INT-D—06/003--SEOAI: diva2:16854
Subject / course
Master's Programme in International and European Relations
2006-06-08, 13:00
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2007-11-13 Created: 2007-11-13 Last updated: 2012-04-24

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