IDS working papers;278

India and the agreement on agriculture : civil society and citizens’ engagement

Published on 1 January 2007

This paper explores civil society advocacy on the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO)
Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) and how it influences the trade policy process and
facilitates citizen engagement in the Indian context. It uses the concepts of actornetworks,
discourse and spaces and strategies, to analyse the role five civil society
organisation’s (CSO) actor-networks play in advocacy on agriculture and trade policy.
The empirical cases suggest that CSO advocacy in India has an indirect impact on
the state’s trade policy process. The cases also indicate that informed citizen
engagement on global trade policies is challenging given the process of global trade
policymaking and the nature of long-term grassroots mobilisation. Issues of representation
and mediation, global-local discourses on economic policies, long-term
versus short-term advocacy concerns and capacity constraints shape the extent to
which direct citizen engagement can occur on the AoA. The paper concludes with
some challenges that CSOs must confront in order to address long-term citizen
action on agriculture and trade issues in India.
Keywords: trade, agriculture, policy, civil society, advocacy, India, participation

Publication details

published by
Sharma, Shefali


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