As the Doha negotiations are at a dead end, Valentin Zahrnt addresses some fundamental questions about the future direction of WTO disciplines in agriculture. First, which agricultural policy instruments should be permitted or prohibited by WTO disciplines so as to best account for the manifold effects of agriculture on societies’ welfare? Second, how should inefficient agricultural policies be treated as long as their removal is politically infeasible? And third, how can the WTO facilitate agricultural policy reform beyond establishing maximum thresholds for distorting policies? The author argues for moving from the current ‘boxes’ of domestic subsidies to a classification system that is more responsive to the differing degree of legitimacy of agricultural policy instruments. He also proposes to introduce ‘good governance’ norms that guide members’ decision-making in agriculture towards policies that are at the same time domestically efficient and internationally responsible.