Ireland and the WTO: Dancing at the Crossroads?

Anna Louise Hinds, Aoife O'Donoghue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ireland's position in the global economy is not one that allows it to assert great influence. Ireland has a small, open economy, buttressed by its membership of the WTO. Certainly, Ireland's great economic upturn of the past twenty years has placed it as country to be envied and indeed copied in economic reform. This, however, has not translated into power at global trade talks. Membership of the EU further obscures Ireland's global economic position because, as a result of this membership, Ireland's global economic agenda is subsumed into that of the EU and the EU itself is a member of the WTO. Thus, Ireland's agenda is two-pronged: first to influence EU policy-making and second to ensure that EU policy is followed through at WTO level. Irish government strategy, at present, focuses on agricultural protectionism, with all other sectors of the Irish economy taking secondary importance. This paper examines the overall impact of the Doha Development Round for Ireland. It is clear that tensions continue to exist between Ireland's traditional support for agricultural protectionism and the needs of its new 'knowledge economy', and between Ireland's overall negotiation position and its international development policy as expressed through Irish Aid.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-182
JournalIrish Studies in International Affairs
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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