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1 Introduction: Problematique and Thesis

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the key themes discussed in the book African Participation at the World Trade Organization: Legal and Institutional Aspects, 1995-2010. In the World Trade Organizations (WTO's) Dispute Settlement system, African countries have participated minimally in relation to other Members as grouped in this study. The study focuses on African WTO membership. Although this research has taken an empirical approach, it is legally grounded as its main focus is on participation in the WTO- a rules-based system grounded on legal Agreements binding on every Member. The study investigates the inter-relationships between the institutional engagement of African countries in the regular work of the Organization, the Doha negotiations, and the extent of legal participation in the dispute settlement system. It is built on earlier research on developing country participation with specific application to Africa.

Keywords: African WTO membership; dispute settlement system; Doha negotiations; regular committee work



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