A diversified idea paradigm? Mapping the evolution of economic environmental and climate ideas in the WTO Secretariat

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The aim of this thesis is to contribute to highlighting how economic environmental and climate ideas are expressed in the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization and to compare this with how they are expressed in other international organisations. In the article The evolution of ideas in global climate policy, Jonas Meckling and Bentley B. Allan map the evolution of economic environmental and climate ideas in six large international organisations. Basing their analysis on four economic schools of thought, limits-to-growth, neoclassical, Keynesian, and Schumpeterian, they conclude that the neoclassical idea paradigm that dominated in the 90s and early 2000s has given way to a diversified paradigm since the mid-00s, in which Keynesian and Schumpeterian ideas complement the neoclassical. This thesis hypothesises that this diversified paradigm should not be seen in the evolution of ideas expressed by the WTO Secretariat and adopts a “least-likely”-method to create conditions for drawing generalisable conclusions about the evolution of ideas accounted for by Meckling and Allan. The analysis, however, indicates that a similar evolution has taken place in the WTO Secretariat, which seems to confirm that there has been a general shift in the economic environmental and climate ideas expressed by international organisations.

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