From seattle to occupy: The shifting focus of social protest

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Abstract

This essay takes impressionistic stock of the changes in the linkages between international trade liberalization and human rights. To be more precise, it discusses changes in the perceived linkages between the two through the stylized lens of global social protest over approximately the past two decades. The World Trade Organization (WTO) – the international institutional “persona” of trade liberalization – was established in 1995. The first few years after its inception were accompanied by vocal and highly publicized international social protest. The time of this writing, nearly twenty years later, is also marked by significant expressions of social unrest around the world. While the existing elements of the WTO appear to be functioning at full swing, or at least muddling through, they are not progressing forcefully toward new horizons of international economic regulation, to say the least. Much of the discontent expressed by the protesters, then and now, relates to the impact of trade liberalization on economic and social policy spaces.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationLinking Global Trade and Human Rights
Subtitle of host publicationNew Policy Space in Hard Economic Times
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages91-107
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781107238985
ISBN (Print)9781107047174
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2014.

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