‘Middle Powers in World Trade Diplomacy, India, South Africa and the Doha Development Agenda’

Dr Charalampos Efstathopoulos

Dr Charalampos Efstathopoulos

28 April 2015

A book authored by an Aberystwyth University academic examining the behaviour of developing countries towards the management of the global economy has been published.

Dr Charalampos Efstathopoulos is the author of Middle Powers in World Trade Diplomacy, India, South Africa and the Doha Development Agenda, published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Dr Efstathopoulos is a Lecturer in International Politics of the Newly Emergent Powers and the Global Order at the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University.

He specialises in Indian and South African foreign policy, the World Trade Organisation, and theoretical approaches to middle powers.

Focussing on World Trade, the book demonstrates that emerging economies are included to pursue middle power diplomacy in order to shape negotiations and diffuse crises.

The book argues that the diplomacy of Southern middle powers does not aim at transforming the World Trade Organisation (WTO), but reforming the institution in order to place development at the centre of the agenda.

Middle powers are sovereign states that although not a superpower, have a large or moderate influence and international recognition.

The book also argues that the bargaining influence of Southern middle powers is conditioned by two factors. Firstly their ability to compensate for the lack of major power leadership, and the ability to mobilise the follower states in the global South.

India and South Africa are two examples of developing countries that deployed different bargaining approaches in their attempt to enhance their influence and status.

The book makes an extensive use of WTO resources.

Full accessibility of official negotiating documents is available, but this isn’t something that’s previously been seized by researchers.

The book provides an analysis of WTO documents over a 12 year period.

Dr Efstathopoulos said: “The book demonstrates that the middle power concept is relevant to understanding the foreign policies of Southern powers and the nature of their influence in global governance.

“The middle powers concept allows for identifying the proactive role of Southern powers in different regimes, while understanding their preferences for caution and gradual change rather than revisionist politics.”