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Global social justice at the WTO?


Murphy-Gregory, H and He, B, Global social justice at the WTO?, In search of a people-centred order in Asia, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd, B He (ed), Singapore, pp. 237-263. ISBN 978-981-3109-76-6 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1142/9789813109773_0009


The previous chapter's discussion on cultural equality has one critical weakness; that is, the issue of civilizational and cultural equality must be addressed through examining global political and economic inequality. Global justice must consider global economic equality and the reduction of political domination. Global justice is concerned with global social contracts, the key element of a transnational people-centric order in which peoples and civil societies can participate in and influence international agreements. This chapter will take the international non-governmental organizations' (INGOs) challenges at the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a case study to see whether and how INGOs play some role in constructing a people-centric order and in making global social contracts.

A peculiar phenomenon afflicts global justice and people-centric order: while individuals make countless personal contracts with others and even with their states, a global level set of contracts between citizens and international organizations for the significant amount of international policymaking that impacts citizens on a daily basis does not exist. For example, international organizations have developed policies to address a wide range of global issues such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), terrorism, nuclear proliferation and trade liberalization, but ordinary citizens are largely excluded from participating in the global governance of these issues. There is effectively no global level social contract involving international agencies, nation-states, and citizens. This lack contributes to legitimacy problems in global level policy-making that decrease the effectiveness of both policy processes and outcomes. It highlights the international political context in which INGOs conduct protests against the economic policies of the WTO and advocate a global social contract, or more precisely, a series of global social contracts involving civil society, governments and business actors.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:NGOs, World Trade Organisation, social justice
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:International relations
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:International relations
Objective Field:International organisations
UTAS Author:Murphy-Gregory, H (Dr Hannah Murphy-Gregory)
ID Code:112697
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-11-24
Last Modified:2018-04-12

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