4he demonstrations that accompanied the World Trade Organisation's (WTO's) Third Ministerial Meeting in Seattle in late 1999, offered many the first glimpse of this organisation. Yet they also drew attention to a growing tide of criticism being levelled at the WTO for a perceived lack of environmental and developmental sensitivity, as well as a disregard for the rights of workers. This book explores the significance of the establishment of the WTO, as well as some of the issues brought into sharper focus by the Seattle demonstrations. Located within the broader study of global governance, Multilateralism and the World Trade Organisation offers a critical examination of the legal framework of the WTO. It looks at the evolution of international trade regulation, tracing the historical background of the WTO from its beginnings in the post-war settlement. Rorden Wilkinson goes on to formulate a conception of multilateralism as a prism through which the WTO's legal framework is studied.
In so doing, he argues that the use of a conception of multilateralism reveals a series of discriminatory practices embedded in the WTO's legal framework, which act to the disadvantage of smaller, developing and transitional states.