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December 26 , 2009

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Resurgence and the Development Agenda


Covering the World Intellectual Property Organization, this volume introduces a much ignored element of the contemporary structure of global governance to scholars of international political economy.

Christopher May discusses:

  • how the World Intellectual Property Organization works, its antecedents and history
  • the debates about the role and justification of intellectual property
  • the role of WIPO within contemporary global politics
  • the key elements of its relations with the World Trade Organization
  • the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

The analysis then examines the recent political economy of the organization and argues that far from being the neutral or technical agency that it often presents itself as, the WIPO is highly politicized and acts to socialize policy makers and civil servants into a specific view of intellectual property. However, the recent proposal to establish a Development Agenda at the WIPO is an important development, and the book concludes by examining the problems which have promoted this agenda, suggesting that these reforms of the WIPO should be welcomed.

The World Intellectual Property Organization is a clear and accessible volume that will confirm the WIPO as one of the global institutions which any student of global governance must understand.

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