Document Type : Original Article
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran
Regardless of the debates concerning the impact of the world trading system on developing countries’ “policy space,” evidence shows that a handful of these economies have been able to take advantage of the rules of the game to pursue their development objectives. The case of accession to the World Trade Organization is not an exception. However unruly and unfair, WTO accessions can either contribute to or hamper development depending on the details of accession commitments as well as the level of serious engagement on the part of the applicant county. Those acceding countries that were able to locate accession in their pre-determined development strategy, rather than an aim in itself, utilized this opportunity as a driver of sensible reforms. Rather than being captured by rent-seeking globalizing/neoliberal forces, the accession policy should be used as an instrument to enforce and embed a well-designed industrial development policy in a world of globalized production.