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Putting Development First: The Importance of Policy Space in the WTO and IFIs

By Kevin Gallagher | October 7, 2005

Edited by Kevin Gallagher
Published by Zed Books
ISBN: 1842776355; 288 pages.
BOOK REVIEW by the Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University

Nations of the world have embarked on a new round of global trade negotiations—the so-called Doha Round under the World Trade Organization (WTO). Developing countries agreed to enter a new round of trade negotiations only on the condition that development would be the centerpiece. There are growing concerns that this promise will go unfulfilled. Key among those concerns is the notion that a new trade agreement will not give the developing world the “policy space” to use the very instruments and tools that many industrialized nations took advantage of to reach their current levels of development. This book includes original contributions by an impressive range of Northern and Southern authors: Alice Amsden, Joseph Stiglitz, Sanjaya Lall, Ha-Joon Chang, Peter Evans, Robert Wade, Nagesh Kumar, Carlos Correa, Navroz Dubash, Albert Cho, Ajit Singh, and Kevin P. Gallagher. To varying degrees all of these authors argue that the WTO and the international financial institutions are shrinking the ability of nations to put proper polices in place for sustainable development. Indeed, many of the authors argue that the economic rationale for preserving policy space in trade negotiations is justified now more than ever. During the 20th Century nations in East Asia, Latin America and elsewhere successfully balanced states and markets to grow from lower to middle income countries. Today, in the face of increasing poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation, states need as many tools as possible to raise the standards of living of their people.

External Link: Putting Development First: The Importance of Policy Space in the WTO and IFIs

Read More: Debt, Democracy, Development, Finance, Globalization, Governance, Trade

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