This is an examination of the origins and impact of the agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) negotiated during the Uruguay Round of GATT talks. The principal theme is that the TRIPS agreement is not in the best interests of the poorer countries, and that its imposition on them by the richer countries has more to do with the exercise of political and economic power than with the positive economic benefits the agreement's supporters claim it can deliver. To support this assertion the book critically examines the economic evidence regarding the impact of intellectual property rights on such important variables as export performance, foreign investment, and economic growth. The author provides a political economic analysis of why the poorer countries acceded to the TRIPS agreement, illustrated with case studies of two important industries where the struggle over intellectual property is especially strong: pharmaceutical and agricultural biotechnology sectors. Designed for use in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in international political economy and international relations theory, the book offer a radical view of the process of globalization.
1. Introduction and Background; 2. The Ideology of Property in the International Economy; 3. Intellectual Property and Positivist Economic Science; 4. Capital, Class and the State in the Global Economy; 5. The Political Economy of TRIPS; 6. TRIPS and the Global Pharmaceutical Industry; 7. Intellectual Property Rights and the Agricultural Biotechnology Revolution; 8. Counter-hegemony and the Future of TRIPS