Poverty, Islamist Extremism, and the Debacle of Doha Round Counter-Terrorism: Part One of a Trilogy -- Agricultural Tariffs and Subsidies
Scholarly/refereed, author accepted manuscript
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This article is the first of three in the Doha Round Trilogy. The entire Trilogy has been published and is available on SSRN. There is a long-standing nexus among international trade law, economic development, and national security, in which Islam is engaged, is all the tighter in the post-9/11 world. Spread around the world, many Muslim communities, marginalized by poverty, have little hope for a brighter future through opportunities from multilateral trade liberalization. Extremism, even accompanied by violence, is a gravely sinful temptation to which some of the marginalized poor are vulnerable. Weapons technology aided by evil genius has multiplied the force threat posed by violent extremist organizations (VEOs) to the global capitalist order, of which the trading system is an essential part. It was this nexus, in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, which drove Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to launch the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), commonly called the Doha Round, in November 2001. It is this nexus that the Members have long since betrayed. The thesis of this article, and indeed the entire Trilogy, is that the Doha Round is a failed counter-insurgency operation. That is, the Doha Round has lost nearly all links to its original purpose. That purpose was trade liberalization to spur development in a post-9/11 context in which extremism is wrongly perceived by some disaffected, impoverished, and thus marginalized Muslims as an alternative to stake-holding in the world trading system. Why this failure? Because the WTO Members have succumbed utterly to the pursuit of commercial self-interest, so their Doha Round dealings have become a monstrous mishmash of minutiae. The Members have produced draft-negotiating texts that are so devoid of vision and so replete with exceptions that they are not fit for a dog’s breakfast. To use a different metaphor, Members have turned the Round into an exercise in Social Darwinism, forgetting the common good—to use multilateral trade liberalization to fight poverty and thereby Islamist extremism. Part One of this Doha Round Trilogy articulates the article in the context of agricultural negotiations. Part Two does so with respect to Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) and services. Part Three advances the argument in respect of trade remedies and customs law.
Please refer to SSRN for a full-text version of this paper: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2162624
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