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Peter Smith and Elizabeth Smythe


This article examines the process by which economic globalization and the Internet have facilitated the proliferation and mobilization of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and social movements that are challenging the negotiation of trade rules through the World Trade Organization (WTO). Our focus, however, is not on the WTO per se but on the impact that globally-articulated local networks are having on the national trade policy processes of Canada, Australia, and the European Union (EU), all members of the WTO. We discuss how local networks of NGOs and social movements are inserted into, and relate to, larger global coalitions and global information networks from which they draw support and sustenance. Finally, we compare how local institutions, processes, and histories have shaped the dialogue and interaction of NGOs with trade departments that are occurring at the level of these nation-states and the European Union.