The International Trade System

The International Trade System

The International Trade System

The International Trade System


In this book, Alice Landau sets out to demystify the World Trade Organization, instrument of globalization. She describes and explains the processes, conventions and rules around which world trade functions.


The process of globalization rolls on with ever-increasing momentum. It presents mankind with some difficult choices: how to handle the energy- environment conundrum, with more and more dependence upon the fossil fuels which result in global warming? How to guarantee safe and fair trade among nations? How to bring about lasting peace?

International relations expert Alice Landau makes an enquiry into the first and most advanced aspect of modernization in her new book: The International Trading System. This analysis of all the complexities and ambiguities that characterize the WTO is most welcome, because it is a unique piece of scholarship. Penetrating behind the façade of more than 50 years' struggle over the basic conditions for economic interaction between countries could only be accomplished by a scholar living in Geneva, knowing the WTO inside and out.

When creating and enforcing the WTO system a whole series of games unfolds among the major players in the world economy. On the one hand, common solutions are Pareto-efficient but individual players can always opt for more. When they do so, meetings are deadlocked or simply break down. It takes a long time to reach agreement regarding the key issues at these games, which is why the WTO system has a long history which involves both dramatic breakthroughs as well as stunning failures. Landau shows that the more learning there is and the more future-orientated the individual players become, the more hope we may place on Geneva coordinating trade and commerce. This book is essential reading for students of globalization.

Professor Jan Erik Lane
University of Geneva . . .

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