Why do so many people in the world go hungry when there is more than enough food for all? Why do so many people have little or no access to vital medicines? What is the best strategy through which to seek sustainable national economic growth and social development? How might we as a global community try to halt and reverse climate change? What is the appropriate balance between a free and open global economy and national security? These are some of the questions explored in this module, which examines the crucial role of international trade policy in shaping key fundamentals of the contemporary human condition.
Theoretically, the module considers the merits of the Case Study as an appropriate methodology through which to study the politics of international trade. Empirically, the module examines a selection of key issues on the contemporary agenda, including agriculture, intellectual property, services, human rights and labour standards, development, security, and climate change. We will build historically informed, detailed analyses of the contemporary politics surrounding each issue, and in so doing reveal the major tensions arising from both the substance of negotiations and the interaction of the structures and processes governing international trade.