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Durham University

Durham Law School

Staff profile

Publication details for Professor Aoife O'Donoghue

O’Donoghue, Aoife & Tzouvala, Ntina (2016). TTIP: The Rise of ‘mega-market’ trade agreements and its potential implications for the Global South. Trade, Law and Development 8(2): 181-209.

Author(s) from Durham


This article intervenes in the growing academic discussion about the potential impact of currently negotiated trade and investment agreements such as the TTIP, the CETA, and the TPP. To do so, our contribution focuses on the rarely asked question of how these agreements will impact the Global South. After showing that there is no stable and clear international legal definition of a ‘developing’ state, this contribution argues that the EU already has a number of legal obligations towards the Global South (for example, the Cotonou Agreement) that need to inform the debate about the objectives and potential impact of the TTIP. Further, our argument emanates from the position that it was the failure of the Doha Development Round of negotiations in the WTO that paved way for what we understand to be a ‘strategic bilateralism’ of the Global North. The second part of this article attempts to evaluate the potential impact of this strategic bilateralism on three distinct fields, first, on the relations between the West and emerging peripheral powers, such as China or Brazil; second, on the economic stability and viability of the Least Developed Countries; and third, on the most marginalised and vulnerable sections of the society regardless of their nationality. Our tentative conclusion is that given the potential adverse impact on all these three fronts, it is essential for the EU to re-evaluate its strategy.