Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2008

Publication Citation

15 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 351 (2008)


The recent "legalization" of the global trade regime (the WTO) has inspired enormous amounts of research and literature. Fewer commentators, however, have examined WTO legalization from the perspective of domestic interest groups. I add to this growing subfield of literature by arguing that the WTO has not exceeded its boundary for domestic political acceptance, nor will it likely do so in the near future. In one respect-" judicial activism"-legalization does, however, present a threat to domestic political support. Still, drawing from historical lessons, I argue that the WTO as an institution will face irrelevance only if both protectionists and multilateralists conclude that the institution no longer represents their interests.