George Mason University – Department of Public & International Affairs
June 24, 2011
IACM 24TH Annual Conference Paper
Detailed chronologies of events that transpired during the discussion of intellectual property issues (TRIPS) in the GATT Uruguay Round and prior to and during the WTO Doha Ministerial are used to trace the unfolding negotiation processes through time. Of particular interest are departures from earlier trends in the chronologies: A departure is defined as a clear and self-evident change from earlier events or patterns in the form of an impactful decision taken by one or more parties. By coding the causes (precipitants) and effects (consequences) of the departures, we perform a turning points analysis: These three-part sequences reveal the triggers and impacts of departures during the extended TRIPS negotiation process. The analyses will allow a comparison of the patterns that unfolded during the two phases of TRIPS negotiations. This comparison will highlight the breakthroughs that occurred during the Uruguay Round and the crises that emerged later, prior to and during the Doha Ministerial. Improving the effectiveness of multilateral trade negotiations depends in part on understanding how critical turning points emerge. This article also has implications more generally for the way that comparative analyses of international negotiation are performed and for the effectiveness of negotiating in the multilateral context.