7 August 2021
International Economic Law
International economic law has entered the mainstream. Politicians debate the intricacies of free trade agreements, newspapers run stories about investor protection mechanisms, and popular movements use collective action to undermine intellectual property provisions.
Yet, despite breaking into the mainstream, popular knowledge on the subject remains sparse at best. This is due in large part to the representation of international economic law in both political rhetoric and popular media: much is said about the technical aspects of the field and emphasis placed on our collective preoccupation with economic growth. Economic considerations, however, cannot be separated from social functions that go beyond the production and exchange of goods. Developing a deeper understanding of the soci0-legal character of international economic law will provide students with greater awareness of the political capacities and opportunities available to citizens.
Four topics are central to our examination of international economic law. As is to be expected, we will begin with the basics of global political economy: without an understanding of capitalism or the forces that propelled its transationalisation, international economic law will remain a mystery. Next, we will consider foundations of international law—how the global framework is ‘regulated’—followed by foundations of international economic law—regulation of the global economic framework. Our third section is dedicated to intricacies of international economic law including trade and the WTO, investment, and labour while the final one will target normative aspects including the place of justice, fairness, and equality in the global economy.
Dr Mohsen Al Attar, University of Warwick
Anyone aged 18+
Once Europe finished bludgeoning itself in 1945, new trading rules were adopted to facilitate the rebuilding of the continent and to maintain control over rebelling colonies. If we add to this the decreasing cost of international transport and the accelerating speed of communication, it was inevitable that global economic activity would soar. And soar it has with the rate and breadth of global economic activity reaching over the past three generations alone levels unseen in all of human history.
Unsurprisingly, these activities have altered the nature of the global economy and of the societies it connects, challenging the capacities of national governments to regulate economic activity within their domestic borders. The erosion of domestic authority is straining the supposed consensus on the value of economic globalisation, characterised by the rise of nationalistic, and usually ethno-chauvinist movements across the European continent.
Despite these transformations, popular knowledge of the regulatory regime underpinning the global economy is sparse at best. This is largely due to the representation of international economic law (IEL) as a technical field preoccupied solely with GDPs, deficits, and exchange rates. Economic regulation, however, cannot be separated from social imperatives that exist beyond the mere exchange of goods and services. In this module, you will develop a deeper appreciation of the past, present, and future of international economic law and, in the process, acquire a greater understanding of the political capacities and opportunities shaped by international law for individuals and corporations, states and societies.
You must check with the relevant office of your institution if you will be awarded credit, but many institutions will allow this. In general, you’ll earn 3 credits in the US system, and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. Warwick will provide any necessary supporting evidence to help evaluate the worth of the course.
GBP 2070: Tuition fee (includes a 10% early booking discount, social programme and guest lecture series)
We offer enhanced discounts for Warwick alumni, Warwick study abroad partners and group bookings of 5+ students