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Symbolic Power in the World Trade Organization$
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Matthew Eagleton-Pierce

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199662647

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662647.001.0001

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Power analysis and the WTO system

Power analysis and the WTO system

(p.24) 2 Power analysis and the WTO system
Symbolic Power in the World Trade Organization

Matthew Eagleton-Pierce

Oxford University Press

This opening theoretical chapter debates how different notions of power can be applied to the WTO system. There are three section. First, the concept is approached in light of two macro themes: that power remains an essentially contested notion and that the idea is best studied through a relational lens of analysis. Second, the chapter draws upon a useful typology designed by Michael Barnett and Raymond Duvall. The discussion focuses initially on compulsory power and institutional power as conventional modes of analysis for understanding the WTO system. The third section broadens the debate to probe two other notions: structural power and productive power. These latter concepts offer more critical readings on power but, at the same time, such thinking has made relatively little impact on specific WTO debates. Throughout, the discussion points to the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the distinctions and affinities between these different concepts.

Keywords:   compulsory power, institutional power, international trade, power, productive power, structural power, WTO

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