Law & Global Political Economy

Colombia - 4 January 2022

Trade topics: International Law

This course aims to provide an introduction and overview to the field of international economic law. It places international economic law in a broad historical context, in which ideological and theoretical debates have played a fundamental role. As such, the course devotes significant attention to ideas and theories about (international) economics, the role of the state, and various views related to (economic) development. The course takes a relatively broad perspective on what ‘economics’ means, just as it takes a broad perspective on what ‘law’ is about, looking beyond formal authority to governance and governmentality. Throughout, the course interrogates these notions, as it also encourages reflexivity on the meaning of the ‘international’, inviting students to situate the various themes and knowledge within a context that is never entirely local, never entirely national, and never entirely international or global, and always a bit of all of them.The overall focus of the course will be on the role of international law and institutions in developing and managing the international economic system, and on the more general question of sovereignty and authority. In particular, the course will explore the so-called Bretton Wood Institutions (World Bank and the International Monetary Fund) and the overall monetary and financial regulatory framework, the World Trade Organization and the international trade regime under General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, as well as the rapidly developing field of international investment law. Attention will be given to regionalism and to regional integration as one approach to economic integration. We will examine labor and labor rights in the context of globalizing supply chains, as well as the role of transnational corporations and the question of their accountability.Throughout, the course will connect specific legal technical questions with broader formal and institutional structures, as well as with deeper ideological questions of legitimacy, citizenship, and identity.