Mapping trade policy: understanding the challenges of civil society participation

Brock, Karen|McGee, Rosemary
Publication year: 

This paper examines the way that a range of development actors view and engage with the arena of trade policy, focusing in particular on the challenges encountered by civil society actors participating in that arena. The dynamics of civil society participation in the trade arena – what might be achieved, and how – are very different from those that shape civil society participation in processes labelled poverty reduction; this paper explores the differences. To achieve this, an overview is provided of the international trade policy landscape, together with a discussion of factors that shape participation at the interfaces of trade and development policy processes. Views and perspectives are presented for two sets of civil society actors – UK-based international non-government organisations, and Ugandan and Kenyan civil society organisations – about their experiences and strategies of engagement and participation. Finally we reflect on some of the challenges of civil society participation in the trade arena: structural complexity and inequities, the exclusion of alternatives to trade liberalisation narratives, and the dynamics of representation.

Source publication information
IDS working paper, no. 225
viii, 57 p.
Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RE, UK
Publisher reference: 
Institute of Development Studies