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Joint Initiative on Trade and Global Economic Governance

Annual Call for Projects 2006


The Graduate Institute of International Studies (GIIS), the South Centre, and the Global Economic Governance Programme at the University of Oxford, are jointly implementing a project supported by the Geneva International Academic Network (GIAN) to advance research and policy dialogue on trade, global economic governance and developing countries.

Globalisation, under appropriate conditions, holds the promise of growth and prosperity. Yet for many in the developing world, and for those concerned about sustainable development, the results have been disappointing. The absence of an international consensus on how best to govern the global economy for development was captured in a recent article entitled "Goodbye Washington Consensus, Hello Washington Confusion?", which asks "not whether the Washington Consensus is dead or alive", but what will replace it.

In Geneva, Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the Word Trade Organisation, has identified the need for a new "Geneva Consensus". He argues that opening trade will advance development "but only if we address the imbalances it creates between winners and losers". According to this view, the WTO forms the heart of global economic governance and remains the most efficient and legitimate forum to open and regulate world trade. WTO Members are simultaneously considering ways to revitalize negotiations within the multilateral trading system.

This growing interest in WTO reform, and the significant changes in WTO practice that have occurred since the first generation of scholarly analysis of institutional reform, mean that 2007 will present an important moment for scholars and analysts. Now is the time to bring new perspectives, insights and analysis and to ensure that the discussion is as thoughtful and well-informed as possible with strong participation by developing countries. To respond to this challenge, this project aims to use collaborative research and dialogue among scholars, policy leaders, NGOs and policy analysts to help: