Category Archives: Branko Milanovic

Branko Milanovic

At the global level, and in sharp contrast to what is increasingly the trend at the national level, it is plutocracy rather than democracy that we live in[.] […] It has become almost commonplace to point out that the rules of the game in all important international organizations are disproportionately influenced by the rich world, and among them by special interest groups. […] The World Trade Organization, despite an appearance of democracy in the sense that decisions are made unanimously, is also […] controlled by rich countries. The “green room” negotiations where the really important issues are decided in small circle have come in for much criticism. So have many WTO decisions relating to the protection of intellectual property rights and unwillingness to allow the provision of cheaper generic drugs in poor countries, the exemption of agriculture and, until recently, textiles from tariff liberalizations, the emphasis on the liberalization of financial services where the rich countries enjoy comparative advantage, the prohibitively high costs of dispute resolution, and so forth. Global bodies tend to be either irrelevant if representative, or if relevant, to be dominated by the rich.

Branko Milanovic, Worlds Apart: Measuring International and Global Inequality, New Jersey, 2005, pp. 149-150