Wto and India

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India and the World Trade


Amrita Narlikar

Chapter contents



India’s schizophrenic rise


From the margins of the GATT to the core of the WTO


The political economy of rising influence


Institution-specific explanations: learning

to negotiate successfully


The burden of rising power




Reader's guide

This chapter analyses India’s rise in the World Trade Organization, within the context

of its foreign policy and its attempts to establish itself as an emerging power.1 The

case study highlights two points. First, it demonstrates that the pathway to power that

India has chosen within the WTO differs fundamentally from the pathways that it has

adopted in other international regimes. India’s negotiation behaviour varies according

to international institutions, and is often a function of careful adaptation within the

structures and processes specific to the institution. The chapter provides a systematic

analysis of the precise negotiation strategies, coalitions, and framing tactics that India

has adopted to successfully establish itself as a major player in the WTO. Second, the

chapter shows that several conventional explanations of foreign policy, including the

role of domestic interest groups, bureaucratic politics, and ideational change provide

us with only partial and inadequate insights into India’s successes in the WTO and

ways it has achieved them. Critical to understanding the question of India’s rise in the

WTO are the role of negotiation processes that it has adopted within a very specific

institutional context. One of the conclusions of the chapter is that rising powers are

seldom entirely revisionist or status quo; rather, their revolutionary, revisionist, or

status quo aspirations vary according to the regimes they operate in.


Amrita Narlikar


India’s rise from a struggling developing country

to an acclaimed...