Global Linkages and Domestic Politics: Trade Reform and Institution Building in India in Comparative Perspective

Document Type



Government (CMC)

Publication Date



This article examines how the World Trade Organization (WTO) affects institutional development and policy responses in India. India is a country traditionally resistant to external pressures but in which participation in an international organization stimulated a transformation in trade policy processes and procedures and unleashed a new bureaucratic politics, institutional innovation, and activation of policy—expert linkages. The author argues that we go beyond zero-sum assumptions in understanding the relationship between globalization and national state institutions. Key rules of international organizations increase transaction and sovereignty costs for states, which may catalyze new domestic capacities and create the impetus for new governance mechanisms. The author demonstrates this argument with an analysis of India's engagement with the WTO and with illustrative evidence of the interaction of China, Brazil, Japan, and United States with the WTO. The evidence is drawn from 18-month fieldwork in India, Washington, D.C., and Geneva; a newspaper database; and reliance on 100 interviews.

Rights Information

© 2007 SAGE Publications