Skip to content

Fall 2024 Course

International Economic Law: Current Crises and Future Possibilities

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: No Exam

There have always been critics of economic globalization, among them many developing countries and civil society groups in developed countries. In recent years, however, fundamental critiques of globalization and the international economic law order have moved into the political mainstream in many countries that used to be champions of international trade and investment. The Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency in 2016 marked a turn away from what was assumed to be a steady trend towards further interdependence. Since then, the trade and investment relationship between China and many Western countries has steadily deteriorated, the climate crisis has become an ever more pressing concern, and the Covid-19 pandemic has put the resilience of supply chains into the spotlight. At the same time, the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body has been stymied and cross-border flows of investment and technology have been curtailed by rising investment screening and export controls. In light of these developments, this course challenges students to understand the forces that are pulling international economic law in different directions with respect to security, environmental and social challenges and to ask: what does this crisis mean for international trade and investment law (i.e., how compatible are these developments with the existing rules?); and where might the future regime be heading (how might the rules and institutions be evolving to accommodate these concerns?)?

Note: This course will meet over four weeks, dates TBD.