Regulating International Trade in the Age of Rising Economic Nationalism

This paper aims to test the adequacy of the non-adjudicatory compliance control mechanisms of the WTO to tackle the new challenges brought about by the rise in economic nationalism in the United States and elsewhere. The WTO survived similar past challenges due partly to its effective dispute settlement system. However, the dispute settlement system itself is now facing an existential crisis. The United States is holding it hostage by blocking the appointment of new Appellate Body Members. Unless Members find a way to break the deadlock soon, the Appellate Body will become defunct by December 2019. The eventual death of the Appellate Body will leave the WTO without its most effective tool to keep protectionism in check. This raises the question whether there are non-adjudicatory mechanisms that help the trading system fight the rise of protectionism. This paper will examine the extent to which such mechanisms help tackle the growing use of trade protectionist measures.

Critical Approaches to International Investment Law: Voicing the Needs for Change

This paper will investigate the changing structures of one of the traditional pillars of international economic law, investment law,using a critical approach to the topic.
ISDS was first criticized by South American States, framing a political discourse denouncing the fallacies of the arbitral system. The discourse changed drastically when European States adopted similar reactions, framing their preoccupations in terms of conflict of norms with the EU constitutional system. But ISDS has also been the object of criticism from academia and civil society, as shown in the 2010 Public Statement on the International Investment Regime, recalling that State fundamental right to regulate. With this in mind, the paper aims at tracing the theoretical underpinnings of these contestation narratives using a post-colonial and neo-Marxist approach.

Towards a Trustless Crypto-Monetary Order?

The development of cryptocurrencies appears as one of the most vivid challenges to money, another pillar of the international economic order. Bitcoin was meant not only to disrupt the payment industry but also to materialize the libertarian dream of “trustless” money created outside the reach of territorial governments and banks. The paper aims at critically assessing Bitcoin as a significant institutional and monetary project. Although Bitcoin is not widely used and far from being able to compete with any official currency, it still exhibits monetary features emphasized by its crisis. If supporters of Bitcoin predict that it could challenge the current international monetary order, the paper also examines the emerging central bank cryptocurrencies. Despite the illusion that they received a State’s monetary unction, these sovereign cryptocurrencies defy the whole purpose of the Bitcoin by increasing the centralization trend, and granting more control to the states and central banks.

Financial instruments in the EU external migration policy: Moving towards a generalised migratory conditionality?

Conditionality-clauses are a classical instrument aimed at changing the pure economic functioning of international trade law, to integrate in the economic texture non-trade values. In the in the EU context, a ‘symbiotic’ relation exists between the notions of ‘conditionality’ and human rights. However, in the context of the EU external migration policy, a new form of conditionality has emerged, which departs from its intrinsic connection with human rights. The EU migration policy was intended as a way to cooperate with Third Countries to reduce international migration to the EU. Behind seemingly contradictory forces pulling the EU Migration Policy between security concerns and human rights protection, the ‘fight against irregular immigration’ remains its core objective. This is especially clear when looking at the evolution in the use of EU financial instruments. This paper intends to critically analyse these policy developments, through the lens of conditionality.