Globalization's Rulebook: Democracy, Trade, and Rights in Latin America


ACLS Fellowship Program


Law, Societies, and Justice and Internat'l studies


This project examines the application of intellectual property (IP) law to medicines and consequent political struggles, focusing on the experience of CAFTA as a case study. An agreement which pioneers new IP standards, CAFTA sets a new global precedent. In practice, its IP provisions limit the availability of generic drugs, forcing governments to protect the rights (to IP) of Northern pharmaceutical corporations before the rights (to health) of their populations. In doing so, they pit leading forces in the human rights movement directly against advocates of free trade. This project examines the work of different actors in an effort to illuminate the ways in which political processes intersect with the law in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic.