WTO debate tomorrow


in Daily updates, Oxford

Tomorrow’s developing world class consists of a debate about the WTO. We were asked last week whether we believed, at an intuitive level, that the WTO was good on balance for developing countries or not. I put up my hand along with those who thought that the organization is imperfect, but slightly beneficial on balance. As such, I was assigned to argue the opposite position tomorrow.

The odd thing is that a week of reading all the reasons for which the WTO is a raw deal for the developing world has made me much more skeptical about my original position. I am not sure if that’s just the much-innoculated ability to make a good argument, or whether my personal position has actually changed. This may represent a reasoned change of opinion through learning, and it might just be a cognitive realignment based on an assigned social role. Either way, I will put up a link to my portion of the presentation, as well as the notes from the seminar, after class tomorrow.

Another school-related note: today’s thesis seminar presentation went better than expected. People seemed very keen on the idea in general, with the only real criticism being the need to focus things reasonably tightly. Hopefully, I will meet Dr. Hurrell about it soon.

[Update: 16 November 2006] Notes on our side of the debate are now on the wiki. So too are notes from the seminar itself. One more project down.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lee November 17, 2006 at 11:45 am

Good luck making the WTO sound good for developing countries – it’s a task that requires not good debating skills but utter mendacity.

Milan November 17, 2006 at 11:47 am


We were on the opposite side: the rabble of t-shirt wearing dissidents across the table from the suit-clad WTO advocates.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: