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Policy Space for Development
at the WTO and Beyond

Putting Development FirstDeveloping country leaders have been critical of industrialized country positions, in the Doha WTO negotiations and in regional trade negotiations, arguing that proposed changes in the global trade regimewill shrink the “policy space” that developing countries have to promote sustainable development.  Increasing attention is now being paid to the concept of policy space in academic and policy circles.  GDAE works with developing country researchers, such as RIS in India, CENIT in Argentina, and the Geneva-based South Centre, to identify the key developmental policies governments most need to preserve.

Key Publications

"An Intergovernmental Panel on Systemic Economic Risk," by Kevin P. Gallagher, Policy Innovations, May 2011.

"Policy Space to Prevent and Mitigate Financial Crises in Global Trade and Investment Agreements,” by Kevin P. Gallagher, UNCTAD/G-24 Discussion Paper, 2010.

Is Development Back in the Doha Round?” by Kevin P. Gallagher and Timothy A. Wise, South Centre Policy Brief #18, November 2009.

“21st Century Trade Agreements: Implications for Long-Run Development Policy” by Rachel Denae Thrasher and Kevin P. Gallagher, The Pardee Papers, No. 2, The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study
of the Longer-Range Future, September 2008.

Putting Development First: The Importance of Policy Space in the WTO and IFIs, Edited by Kevin P. Gallagher, Zed Books, 2005.

“Understanding Developing Country Resistance to the Doha Round,” by Kevin P. Gallagher, Review of International Political Economy, 15:1, February, 2008, 62-85.

"The WTO and the Shrinking of Development Space: How Big is the Bite?" by Alisa DiCaprio and Kevin P. Gallagher, Journal of World Investment and Trade, Volume 7, no. 5, October 2006

"Relevance of ‘Policy Space’ for Development: Implications for Multilateral Trade Negotiations," by Nagesh Kumar and Kevin P. Gallagher, RIS Discussion Paper #120, March 2007.

"Policy Space for Mexican Maize: Protecting Agro-biodiversity by Promoting Rural Livelihoods," by Timothy A. Wise, GDAE Working Paper No. 07-01, February, 2007. (This paper has also been published in Spanish.)

"Policy Space for Development in the WTO and Beyond: The Case of Intellectual Property Rights," by Ken Shadlen, GDAE Working Paper 05-06, November 2005.

"Preserving Policy Space for Sustainable Development: The Subsidies Agreement at the WTO," Francisco Aguayo Ayala and Kevin P. Gallagher, Trade Knowledge Network/IISD, December 2005.


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