The world’s leading international economic law publication has awarded its top scholarship honor to Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law.
Cohen is the winner of the 2020 John H. Jackson Prize, bestowed by the Board of Editors of the Journal of International Economic Law, for his article “Nations and Markets” (prior posts).
As stated on the website of this Oxford University Press journal, the prize is named after its founding editor, John Howard Jackson (1932-2015), who, in the course of his career teaching law at Georgetown, Michigan, and Berkeley, kept “a keen eye on new developments and novel systemic interactions in the field beyond the four corners” of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization. With an aim to “underlining the importance of construing international economic law in this broader, ever changing perspective,” the Jackson Prize “is awarded annually to the article or other contribution in the JIEL that most significantly breaks new ground and adds new insights to the study and understanding of international economic law, especially in fields beyond a self-contained analysis of WTO law.”
Published in December 2020, Cohen’s “Nations and Markets” appears in volume 23, issue 4, of the peer-reviewed journal, at pages 793-815, and is available online here. Here’s the abstract:
Economics and security seem increasingly intertwined. Citing national security, states subject foreign investments to new scrutiny, even unwinding mergers. The provision of 5G has become a diplomatic battleground—Huawei at its center. Meanwhile, states invoke national security to excuse trade wars. The USA invoked the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade national security exception to impose steel and aluminum tariffs, threatening more on automotive parts. Russia invoked that provision to justify its blockade of Ukraine, as did Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to excuse theirs of Qatar. And with the spread of COVID-19, states are invoking national security to scrutinize supply lines. Multiplying daily, such stories have led some observers to dub the era one of geoeconomics. Nonetheless, these developments remain difficult to judge, and the relationship between economics and national security remains confused and slippery. The essay seeks clarity in the deeper logic of these labels, revealing a fundamental choice between the logics of markets and the logics of state. Whether invoked to ‘secure’ borders, privacy, health, the environment, or jobs, ‘national security’ is a claim about the proper location of policymaking. Appeals to economics, with their emphasis on global welfare and global person-to-person relationships, are such claims as well. Resolving disputes, this essay argues, requires recognizing these root choices.