Philippine Civil Society and WTO Negotiations: Opportunities and Challenges By Teresa S.

Encarnacion Tadem

Encarnacion’s article is indirectly about globalization through the involvement of the DA or the Department of Agriculture, several civil society actors, the WTO and all IGOs that contribute to the world economy. Though all dominant approaches in Political Science and analysis were applied in the article, each and every part of the article has its own set of biases (understandable as it is an article, but a work of credible and excellent analysis) and each of the parts only correspond to one dominant approach but is not necessarily limited to that approach. The first part of the article is the “Civil Society Intervention in WTO Negotiations”. Now what is being explained here is that there is indeed a deficit of accountability in terms of due processes to which the WTO and other IGOs work and a threat to expose them of their lack of transparency. This article and the dominant political science approach used here is the Rational Choice Theory. Why is this so? This part of the article did not give a clear explanation on why the IGOs acted as such, moreover why the civil society actors acted this way, but one thing is all certainly true, these actors all conspired to a doing of which is fuelled by their own self-interests and if I may quote someone “there are no permanent friend or foes; only permanent interests” and most examples are exemplified with the political opportunity structure or POS. “Civil Society in the Task Force on WTO Agreement on Agricultural Renegotiation” talks about the involvement of the Department of Agriculture where it devised a “mechanism” to support its activism against the WTO and its taskforce instilling international-biased laws to a point where it will not be fair to the affected country. The approaches in this part of the article I expected were hinted were the behavioural analysis and new institutionalism. Behavioural analysis due to the fact that it entwines with institutional studies on due to its analysis on the DA and its mechanism and most of the goals of the WTO through their Task Force (which is sums to new institutionalism and behavioural studies). Note that there are also hints of old institutionalism here or the normative approach as it is evident and stated in the part of the article that there was an application of neo-liberalism of the movements of the civil societies against WTO. Next part of the article is “The DA WTO lead negotiator”. This part emphasizes the negotiations of the WTO and the DA and how they do not want to repeat the battle of Seattle or the massive strike to hinder WTO meetings. The approach I uncovered here was rational choice theory as this article emphasized the interests of the WTO to end the DA demonstrations and National Farmers Alliance’s demonstrations against their meetings.

The remainder of the article described the other negotiations, technicalities of the civil societies and the coalition of the Task Force on Agriculture Re-Negotiations or the TFWAR (an immediate body of authority formulated by the WTO) and the WTO. The remainder of the article consisted largely of rational choice theory as the remainder hinted only the self-interests of the actors.

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