24 Oct 2023
Brown Bag Seminar, 16:00 - 17:00, Silva Casa Auditorium, World Trade Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, Bern, Switzerland OR Online
Brown Bag Seminar: “Shadow Negotiators: How UN Organizations Shape the Rules of World Trade for Food Security”
Matias Margulis, Associate Professor at The University of British Columbia, joins us at the WTI for the 2nd Brown Bag of this series.
Shadow Negotiators is the first book to demonstrate that United Nations (UN) organizations have intervened to influence the discourse, agenda, and outcomes of international trade lawmaking at the World Trade Organization (WTO). While UN organizations lack a seat at the bargaining table at the WTO, Matias E. Margulis argues that these organizations have acted as "shadow negotiators" engaged in political actions intended to alter the trajectory and results of multilateral trade negotiations. He draws on analysis of one of the most contested issues in global trade politics, agricultural trade liberalization, to demonstrate interventions by four different UN organizations—the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food (SRRTF).
By identifying several novel intervention strategies used by UN actors to shape the rules of global trade, this book shows that UN organizations chose to intervene in trade lawmaking not out of competition with the WTO or ideological resistance to trade liberalization, but out of concerns that specific trade rules could have negative consequences for world food security—an outcome these organizations viewed as undermining their social purpose to reduce world hunger and protect the human right to food.
About the speaker
Matias Margulis is Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia. His research and teaching interests are in global governance, development, human rights, international law and food policy. He has previously held academic positions at the University of Edinburgh, University of Stirling, University of Northern British Columbia and Max Plank Institute for the Study of Societies. In 2010-2011, he was the Cadieux-Léger Fellow at Global Affairs Canada.
In addition to his academic research, Matias has extensive professional experience in the field of international policymaking and is a former Canadian representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He has also advised the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and the Scottish Parliament and consulted for international NGOs and the Brookings Institution.
We strongly encourage you to attend this event on-site. In case you cannot be present in person, you can use the following Zoom link to tune in virtually: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEqf-iurzsqE9ZsGNg-98oGMYDRi4R2i1r2