WTO drug policy is of particular interest to political economists and international legal theorists interested in the distributive politics of international institutions because it embodies so many of what are believed to be the pathologies of globalization. Coercion and brinksmanship by the most powerful developed states has meant that a shared collective purpose among participants is almost totally absent. The policies of the drug regime are widely believed to be redistributive upward to the benefit of only a handful of developed states, and many aspects of the regime are arguably economically inefficient as well. There has been a continued prevalence of extra-institutional bargaining associated with the drug regime since its formation that has taken place outside the formal WTO process and unconnected to any process of collective or democratic decision making. Finally, provisions of the drug regime designed to provide the populations in poor states with broad access to drugs in an emergency have proved difficult to implement in a timely fashion.
Date of this Version
and George W. Downs, "Distributive Politics and International Institutions: The Case of Drugs" (January 2005). Tel Aviv University Law Faculty Papers. Working Paper 6.