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Why Adjudicate?Enforcing Trade Rules in the WTO$
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Christina L. Davis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152752

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152752.001.0001

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The Democratic Propensity for Adjudication

The Democratic Propensity for Adjudication

(p.62) 3 The Democratic Propensity for Adjudication
Why Adjudicate?

Christina L. Davis

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the democratic propensity for adjudication by conducting a statistical analysis of the use of adjudication by eighty-one states during the period 1975–2004. It uses the data to explore different dimensions of democratic politics and whether demand for adjudication reflects electoral preference for free trade, legal norms, or accountability mechanisms arising from legislative constraints on executive autonomy. The domestic constraints hypothesis receives support from evidence that states with high checks and balances at home are the most frequent users of adjudication. The chapter also shows that the same dynamic generates a positive correlation between democracy and the likelihood of a state to be targeted as a defendant in World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes. The pattern of trade disputes is shaped by domestic politics in terms of institutions of the complainant and defendant and by geopolitics in terms of alliance relations between trade partners.

Keywords:   adjudication, democracy, democratic politics, free trade, accountability, domestic constraints, World Trade Organization, trade disputes, domestic politics, geopolitics

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