Defending Interests

Public-Private Partnerships in W.T.O. Litigation

"Gregory Shaffer's stellar work of research and analysis takes research on the WTO to a new level. He shows in fascinating detail how WTO processes operate in practice, the private-public partnerships that the WTO favors, and how Europeans both learned to operate in that domain and changed themselves by doing so. Ostensibly about the WTO, this book is also a terrific guide to larger issues of globalization, global hierarchies, unequal transnational playing fields, and finally transnationally promoted state transformations."—Bryant Garth, Director, American Bar Foundation

This book examines the growing interaction between private enterprises and public officials to challenge foreign trade barriers. Building on more than one hundred interviews with former and current trade officials and private attorneys in the United States and Europe, Gregory Shaffer calls attention to the ways in which well-organized private parties are using the World Trade Organization's legal system to advance their own commercial ambitions, and how public officials increasingly are dependent on their assistance.

Shaffer assesses the historical, political, legal, economic, and cultural factors that have affected the formation of these ad hoc public-private partnerships, as well as trends in the European Union toward U.S.-style practice. He considers the implications of these public-private trade litigation networks for the effectiveness and equity of the WTO system and the stability of U.S.-E.U. relations.