Power and Ideas

North-South Politics of Intellectual Property and Antitrust

By Susan K. Sell

Subjects: Politics
Series: SUNY series in Global Politics
Paperback : 9780791435762, 289 pages, December 1997
Hardcover : 9780791435755, 289 pages, December 1997

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Table of contents


List of Figures and Tables


1 Power and Ideas

2 Historical Perspectives on Industrial Development, Technology Acquisition, and the Role of Governments

3 Negotiations on an International Code of Conduct for the Transfer of Technology

4 International Negotiations to Revise the Paris Convention on the Protection of Intellectual Property

5 A Code of Conduct for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices

6 Intellectual Property Protection and Antitrust in the Developing World: Crisis, Coercion, and Choice

7 Conclusion



Selected Bibliography


The first comprehensive political-science treatment of the global politics and diplomacy of intellectual property and antitrust, with focus on relations between developing and industrialized countries.


Once considered arcane issues, intellectual property protection and antitrust have emerged in the last decade as central items on national and international agendas. Susan K. Sell presents the first comprehensive book-length political science treatment of these issues. She analyzes the North-South politics and diplomacy of intellectual property protection and antitrust in two eras: from the early 1970s to 1985, and from 1985 to the present. For the first era, the book analyzes multilateral negotiations over codes of conduct for technology transfer, restrictive business practices, and intellectual property protection. For the second era, the book focuses on the spread of antitrust policies in developing countries, the use of coercive bilateral diplomacy by the United States in its quest to strengthen global intellectual property protection, and the Uruguay Round of trade talks.

Power and Ideas provides historical perspective, a broad introduction to the issues, and an in-depth, substantive analysis of the global politics and diplomacy of intellectual property protection and antitrust. Sell highlights the profound changes underway in both developing and industrialized countries. Drawing upon international relations scholarship on the role of ideas, she emphasizes the importance of understanding how and why policy makers redefined their interests in these areas. By incorporating intersubjective dimensions of politics, the institutionalization of economic ideas, and power asymmetries, Sell explains significant trends that will shape international commerce for years to come.

Susan K. Sell is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University.


"This book fills an important gap in the scholarly and policy literatures. It provides the first good book on the politics and diplomacy concerning the creation of new global codes governing intellectual property and antitrust. It will be seen as an account of the negotiations about international economic restructuring that is a worthy revision, amendment, and extension of the standard books of Krasner and Rothstein on the era of conference diplomacy. " -- Peter Cowhey, co-author of Managing the World Economy: The Consequences of Corporate Alliances

"Sell uses both documentary and interview evidence to provide a thorough book-length treatment of the recent changes in North-South intellectual property regimes. The writing is active, straightforward, and very clear. " -- Craig Murphy, author of International Organization and Industrial Change: Global Governance Since 1850