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Abstract

International law, political science and economics scholars are all concerned with analyzing the performance of the WTO as an organization. In this paper we focus on the objectives that these different disciplines attribute to the WTO and how performance is assessed against these objectives. The literature in all three fields is vibrant, but the focus of each discipline is often on very different dimensions of WTO performance. While this implies significant complementarity across disciplines it also suggests potential opportunity costs in foregone synergies. Even when similar phenomena are the focus of analysis, different concepts, connotations and labels makes cross-disciplinary debate less efficient or prohibits it altogether. Greater effort to promote cross-fertilization across disciplines would enrich and strengthen research on the performance of the WTO.

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