Reformist Multipolarity and Global Trade Governance in an Era of Systemic Power Redistribution

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This article assesses the role of emerging powers in the liberal order by examining the diplomacy of these states in the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The article discusses the changing shape of global trade governance through the insights provided by multipolarity, unipolarity as well as critical perspectives on emerging states. Based on the insights provided by these approaches, the article provides an analytical account of WTO negotiations to argue that the changing position of emerging powers in global trade governance is indicative of a system of reformist multipolarity. This system entails three major characteristics. First, it is based on a multipolar decision-making process where established and emerging powers hold veto power over the negotiating process, but commit to the stable management of the global economy. Second, it comprises a nascent great power concert where established and emerging powers share a common worldview on the centrality of the WTO to operate as the overarching authority for regulating and managing global trade. Third, emerging states maintain a reformist approach in this multipolar system seeking to renegotiate the rights and responsibilities to be undertaken by each major stakeholder
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalGlobal Journal of Emerging Market Economies
Issue number1
Early online date14 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2016


  • multipolarity
  • reformism
  • World Trace Organization
  • Doha Development Round
  • global trade governance
  • Multipolarity
  • World Trade Organization


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