Cover of Between Law and Diplomacy by Joseph A. Conti
Between Law and Diplomacy
The Social Contexts of Disputing at the World Trade Organization
Joseph A. Conti


264 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804771436
Ebook ISBN: 9780804777384

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Between Law and Diplomacy crafts an insider's look at international trade disputes at one of the most important institutions in the global economy—the World Trade Organization. The WTO regulates the global rules for trade, and—unique among international organizations—it provides a legalized process for litigation between countries over trade grievances.

Drawing on interviews with trade lawyers, ambassadors, trade delegations, and trade jurists, this book details how trade has become increasingly legalized and the implications of that for power relations between rich and poor countries. Joseph Conti looks closely at who uses the system to initiate and pursue disputes, who settles and on what terms, and the relative disconnect between pursuing a dispute and what a country gains through efforts to gain compliance with WTO dictates. Through this inside look at the process of disputing, Conti provides fresh perspective on how and why the law authorizes the use of specific resources and tactics in the ever unfolding struggle for control in the global economy.

About the author

Joseph A. Conti is Assistant Professor of Law and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

"Conti not only enables readers to understand how practitioners in the trade field operate, but he also provides the big picture, including potential lines of reform that would make the WTO more legitimate and friendly to developing countries. More theoretically, this inside look at daily dealings with the WTO points to an increasing legalization that will resonate with lawyers, political scientists, and sociologists."

—Bryant G. Garth, Southwestern Law School

"Between Law and Diplomacy provides real insights into the world of elite legal institutions. It highlights the importance of the practice of law, taken to the international level, and is an original and valuable contribution to the field. A real pleasure!"

—Chris Arup, Monash University