India, developmental multilateralism and the Doha ministerial conference

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Despite its growing status as an ‘emerging’ power, perceptions of India’s current and future role in multilateral organisations continue to be overshadowed by its reputation for blocking rather than supporting progress in multilateral negotiations on grounds of national sovereignty and Third Worldism. In this article we suggest a more positive interpretation of India’s role through a close analysis of its diplomacy during the 2001 Doha Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (wto). The Indian delegation attempted proactively to shape the agenda of the negotiations and to promote a form of developmental multilateralism that might correct the perceived imbalances within the substantive commitments to and structure and processes of the wto. India failed to get its way at the time, but the ongoing deadlock at Doha demonstrates the continuing salience of such alternative conceptions of global justice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1066-1081
Number of pages16
JournalThird World Quarterly
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2014


  • India
  • Doha Development Agenda
  • policy space
  • developmental multilaterism
  • wto
  • developmental multilateralism


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