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Rethinking the roles of non-governmental organisations at the World Trade Organization


Murphy, H, Rethinking the roles of non-governmental organisations at the World Trade Organization, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 66, (4) pp. 468-485. ISSN 1035-7718 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Australian Institute of International Affairs

DOI: doi:10.1080/10357718.2012.686580


The role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in global governance has attracted increasing attention over the past two decades. Yet the scholarly concern with the potential for NGOs to democratise international organisations has worked to neglect inquiry into the nature of their activities and the strategies that they deploy as policy-making participants in global governing arrangements. This article provides an account of the roles that NGOs play in international trade governance at the World Trade Organization (WTO) via their international campaign activities. Utilising examples of two NGO campaigns directed at the WTO (in the areas of intellectual property and multilateral investment rules), it demonstrates that NGOs play entrepreneurial roles in broadening the trade agenda by publicising neglected trade-related issues, building coalitions and boosting the negotiating resources of developing member countries. By examining their attempts to articulate an expanded conception of the global public interest, the article concludes that NGOs should be viewed as imfJOrtant actors within global public policy networks, even when they are formally excluded from the decision-making tables of international organisations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:global governance, non-governmental organisations, World Trade Organization
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 political economy (excl. international trade)
UTAS Author:Murphy, H (Dr Hannah Murphy-Gregory)
ID Code:78965
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Government
Deposited On:2012-08-09
Last Modified:2018-03-21

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