Title
Open the door to more of the same? The development of interest group representation at the WTO Open the door to more of the same? The development of interest group representation at the WTO
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Cambridge ,
Subject
Politics
Economics
Source (journal)
World trade review / World Trade Organization. - Cambridge, 2002, currens
Volume/pages
10(2011) :4 , p. 447-472
ISSN
1474-7456
1475-3138
ISI
000297028300002
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The openness of the World Trade Organization (WTO) towards non-state actors has led to much debate among scholars and practitioners. The objective of this paper is to add empirical knowledge to this ongoing debate. In particular, we examine the effects of allowing interest groups to participate at WTO Ministerial Conferences (MCs) during 19962009 by analyzing a novel dataset of 1992 interest organizations that attended seven MCs. The data we present demonstrate that, in contrast to what many expected, the WTO did not attract a more diverse population of interest groups since these organizations were allowed to participate at MCs. Moreover, we observe an increasing overrepresentation of some specific issue-related interests, especially agriculture, and a strong presence of Northern American and European interest organizations attending MCs. Another important observation is that MCs are not particularly dominated by business interests at the expense of NGOs (non-governmental organization), who are also consistently well represented at the WTO meetings. Yet, the high levels of volatility observed at the level of individual organizations suggests that, although it is rather easy to start lobbying at WTO MCs, only a relatively small number of interest organizations keep a long lobbying presence at this level.
Full text (open access)
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/046889/1138.pdf
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