Symbolic Power in the World Trade Organization

Hardcover | January 18, 2013

byMatthew Eagleton-pierce

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Questions of power are central to understanding global trade politics and no account of the World Trade Organization (WTO) can afford to avoid at least an acknowledgment of the concept. A closer examination of power can help us to explain why the structures and rules of international commercetake their existing forms, how the actions of countries are either enabled or disabled, and what distributional outcomes are achieved. However, within conventional accounts, there has been a tendency to either view power according to a single reading - namely the direct, coercive sense - or to overlook the concept entirely, focusing instead on liberal cooperation and legalization. In this book, Matthew Eagleton-Pierce shows thateach of these approaches betray certain limitations which, in turn, have cut short, or worked against, more critical appraisals of power in transnational capitalism. To expand the intellectual space, the book investigates the complex relationship between power and legitimation by drawing upon PierreBourdieu's notion of symbolic power. A focus on symbolic power aims to alert scholars to how the construction of certain knowledge claims are fundamental to, and entwined within, the material struggle for international trade. Empirically, the argument uncovers and plots the recent strategies adopted by Southern countries in theirpursuit of a more equitable trading order. By bringing together insights from political economy, sociology, and law, Symbolic Power in the WTO not only enlivens and enriches the study of diplomatic practice within a major multilateral institution, it also advances the broader understanding of powerin world politics.

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Questions of power are central to understanding global trade politics and no account of the World Trade Organization (WTO) can afford to avoid at least an acknowledgment of the concept. A closer examination of power can help us to explain why the structures and rules of international commercetake their existing forms, how the actions o...

Matthew Eagleton-Pierce previously taught at the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford. He is a Member of the Senior Common Room at St Antony's College, Oxford. He holds a DPhil in International Relations from Oxford. His primary research interests are in the field of international political economy, particularly the...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:January 18, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199662649

ISBN - 13:9780199662647

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Power Analysis and The WTO System2. The Symbolic Face of Power3. The Competing Kings of Cotton4. The Heretics in the HouseConclusionAppendixBibliography