May 6th, 2021

Restructuring Sovereign Debt

An interview with Ken Shadlen

Ken Shadlen's research examines how international institutions can create unique challenges for developing countries and, in doing so exacerbate core-periphery inequalities. Writing on the HIV/AIDS crisis, Shadlen has illustrated how intellectual property rules developed by the World Trade Organization threaten to limit the supply of antiretrovirals, with profound implications for patients in the developing world. In his 2017 book, he finds that countries which had well developed pharmaceutical sectors prior to the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) did not adopt the sort of maximalist patent regimes that were demanded of less-developed nations. Across his work, Shadlen explores how political blocking and coalition building by developing countries strengthened their influence within the WTO in the late twentieth century.

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