The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Rights in Trade

     Dissertation Committee: Helen V. Milner (chair), James R. Vreeland, and Kristopher W. Ramsay

In my dissertation, I address these fundamentals of international and comparative political economy and examine why countries agreed to preserve the freedom to use a set of rights and safeguards under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), known as TRIPS Flexibilties. Specifically, I study how WTO members' uses of the trade remedies are bound by their political conditions. In doing so, my thesis uncovers political origins of discontent surrounding TRIPS, including public access to drugs and patent holders' rent-seeking behavior, and shows how the disputes are settled at domestic and international legal institutions.