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From the “Margins” to the “Core”: Understanding China’s Engagement at the World Trade Organisation

27 Mar 2019

Priyanka Pandit

Venue: Seminar Room, ICS
Time: 3:00 PM

Abstract

The gradual rise of China in the WTO in recent decades has brought about an important change in the structure of international trade and tariff related rule making. The dominant realist, neo-realist, and neo-liberal approaches explains this change mainly through the shifts taking place in the distribution of economic power among the key players of the global economic order. These approaches have focused on some of the key determinants of economic power in China’s growing influence within the multilateral economic institutions. Specifically, they identify  three key indicators a) China’s large and growing trade shares, b) participation in the WTO’s core decision making; and c) growing activism in the WTO Dispute Settlement Body.  Such assertions premised on determinants of economic growth and agenda coalition, nevertheless, ignore key variations in sources of power and the relative ability of a state to extract and mobilize resources from its domestic society. In this backdrop, this presentation examines the case for China’s rise in the WTO,  operationalises its growing influence and analyses the broader implications and limits of the WTO’s impact within China.

About the Speaker

Priyanka Pandit is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University, Beijing and a Junior Fellow at the 2018 EU India Think Tanks Twining Initiative. She finished her PhD at the Centre for East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 2017. She holds MPhil in Chinese Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University and Masters in East Asian Studies from the University of Delhi. Her research focuses on China’s political economy, comparative politics and its engagements with multilateral economic institutions. She was formerly a visiting fellow at the Research Institute for Indian Ocean Economies in Yunnan University of Finance and Economics where she pursued a year-long course in Mandarin. Before joining Jawaharlal Nehru University, she worked at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi and went for a short term fellowship at the Jinan University in Guangzhou, China. She was also part of the Delegation for “Seminar on Chinese Translation” organized by Beijing International Chinese College and “Youth Camp for Asia’s Future 2009” in Seoul hosted by Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare. She co-edited a volume on ‘China and BRICS: Setting up a Different Kitchen’ and her research has featured in Journal of South East Asian Studies, International Studies (Sage), Maritime Affairs (Taylor & Francis), Indian Ocean Political and Economic Review, East Asia Forum, Jamestown Foundation, Asia Times etc. 

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