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About the Sense and Direction of Multilateralism in International Trade Law

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Chapter Summary

This chapter first provides a general introduction to Multilateralism that is defined as "the principle or belief that several nations should be cooperatively involved in the process of achieving a goal". In a historical perspective, the development of multilateralism is closely linked to the increasing interdependencies for the addressing of which it provides a method, one built on the idea of defining, in the form of common rules, common solutions for shared concerns. The chapter then focuses on a single IO, the WTO, and on its law-which both contributes to as well as is subject to these trends and this complexity. For this purpose, the first step will be to situate the WTO and its law within general multilateralism, before analysing international trade law through the lens of multilateralism, it being understood that this approach aims more at raising questions than providing answers.

Keywords:international trade law; multilateralism; WTO



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