“Law of Global Economic Statecraft,” October 24 Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law conference, to feature book keynote discussion with Nicholas Mulder

This year’s annual conference of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law will consider a highly topical question: “The Law of Global Economic Statecraft.” Featured will be a keynote discussion by Cornell University historian Nicholas Mulder, author of The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War (Yale University Press 2022), as well as panels including more than a dozen experts from around the world.

The daylong conference will take place on Monday, October 24, in the Larry Walker Room of Dean Rusk Hall at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Sponsoring along with GJICL, a 50-year-old student-edited journal, is the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center. GJICL Executive Conference Editor, 3L Claire Kimbrell, and Senior Conference Editor, Sarah Grace McCord, worked closely with Catrina Martin, the Center’s Global Practice Preparation Assistant, and with GJICL’s Faculty Advisor, Professor Harlan Grant Cohen, who is Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and one of the Center’s Faculty Co-Directors.

The University of Georgia Willson Center for Humanities & Arts is a cosponsor of the keynote event. Additional conference cosponsors include these University of Georgia units: Georgia Law students’ International Law Society; the Center for International Trade & Security, School of Public & International Affairs; the Department of History, Franklin College of Arts & Sciences; and the Department of Economics, Terry College of Business.

Registration for all aspects of the conference (to be livestreamed for online registrants) here.

Here’s the concept note:

“The global economy has been weaponized.  It’s not clear when it happened, or whether it’s even something new, but watching the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made it impossible to ignore.  With breathtaking speed, a full phalanx of sophisticated economic tools was mobilized against Russia that threatened to sever it from the global economy.  For its, part, Russia demonstrated the continued force of its own economic weapons – its control over substantial supplies of oil and gas.  But the speed with which these tools were amassed was in fact testament to years of experiments and practice.  Economic tools that had been developed to isolate “rogue states,” to fight terrorist networks, and to punish human rights abusers had begun to show how the carrot of the global market could quickly become a lever of influence and a forceful stick.  But these tools gained new prominence as they were refined and redeployed for use in the intensifying economic and geopolitical rivalry between China, the United States, and Europe.  

“Is international law prepared for this reality?  Until recently, tools of economic pressure have been left largely to the margins of the discipline, treated at best as the preferred alternative to more regulated fields of military activities, at worst as exceptional tools that could largely be ignored – even in the face of critiques from the Global South and regarding human rights.  While every international law textbook has chapters on the regulation of military activity and economic cooperation, few have standalone sections on sanctions.  International economic law regimes meanwhile struggle to adapt to the realities of ‘geoeconomics’ and ‘weaponized interdependence,’ in which, structures designed to encourage economic cooperation are repurposed as tools of competition and rivalry.

“A reconsideration is long overdue.  This symposium surveys the current state of economic statecraft – the tools in use, their purposes, and their targets.  It explores how they are or should be regulated.  But most importantly, it seeks to put today’s economic statecraft in historical, political, and legal context asking critical questions about the international order they reflect and the international order they might require.”

The day’s events are as follows:

9-9:10 am Welcome

  • Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor, University of Georgia School of Law

9:10-10:30 am How We Got Here

Speaking on this 1st panel:

  • Zohra Ahmed, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law
  • Mona Ali, Associate Professor of Economics, State University of New York-New Paltz
  • Henrique Choer Moraes, Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of Brazil in New Zealand
  • Nicholas Mulder, Assistant Professor and Milstein Faculty Fellow, Cornell University Department of History

10:45 am-12:05 pm Where We Are

Lauren Brown, Associate, Squire Patton Boggs, Washington, D.C., will moderate this 2d panel. Speaking will be:

  • Sarah Bauerle Danzman, Director, Tobias Center for Innovation in International Development, and Associate Professor, International Studies, Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Maryam Jamshidi, Associate Professor of Law University of Florida Levin College of Law
  • Tom Ruys, Professor, Faculty of Law and Criminology, Department of European, Public, and International Law, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Jan Zahradil, Member, European Parliament

1:05-2:25 pm Where We’re Headed

Speakers on this 3d panel:

  • Elena Chachko, Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School
  • J. Benton Heath, Assistant Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law
  • Henry Farrell, SNF Agora Institute Professor of International Affairs at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University
  • Mona Paulsen, Assistant Professor of Law, London School of Economics Law School, England

2:40-3:55 pm Keynote Book Discussion on “The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War”

3:55 pm Thank You

  • Courtney Robinson, Editor-in-Chief, Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law

Georgia Law Professor Zohra Ahmed publishes on Pakistan, United States & global war on terror at LPE Blog

Zohra Ahmed, who is an Assistant Professor of Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, posted “Towards a Law and Political Economy Approach to the Global War on Terror” at the LPE Blog published by The Law and Political Economy (LPE) Project, housed at Yale Law School.

Here’s the abstract:

“To ensure support for its Global War on Terror, the United States has exploited the Pakistani government’s reliance on foreign credit to guarantee cooperation in US counterinsurgency operations. In leveraging its role as a lender to provide Pakistan with short-term financial relief, the United States has deepened Pakistan’s economic dependency, undermined the nation’s chance for a more equal domestic political and economic arrangement, and consolidated the power of its domestic military elite.”

Professor Ahmed’s full essay, posted last Wednesday, is available here.

Georgia Law Professor Laura Phillips Sawyer gives talk at Justice Department on antitrust law and extraterritoriality

Dr. Laura Phillips Sawyer, Associate Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law, earlier this month presented her most recent scholarship, related to law and extraterritoriality, at the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Phillips Sawyer’s research paper, entitled “Jurisdiction Beyond Our Borders: United States v. Alcoa and the Extraterritorial Reach of American Antitrust, 1909–1945,” offers a historical explanation for the origins of antitrust extraterritoriality.

The 1945 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Alcoa is famous in antitrust law for several reasons. To be precise, it:

  • Narrowly defined market share in favor of the federal government;
  • Expanded the category of impermissible dominant firm conduct;
  • Interpreted congressional intent as protecting an egalitarian business environment; and
  • Established the extraterritorial reach of U.S. antitrust laws.

Although each of those contributions has incited legal commentary and critique, Judge Learned Hand’s decision to redraw the territorial application of U.S. antitrust has remained largely unexamined.

The essay that Professor Phillips Sawyer presented advances two arguments:

  • First, right before and during the interwar years, the antitrust doctrine of strict territoriality had been eroded through a series of distinguishing cases and contradictory congressional policies.
  • Second, the well-documented connection between European fascism and cartelization provided strong external pressures to extend American antitrust law and policy abroad and to redouble anticartel and antimonopoly provisions at home. By 1945 extraterritorial antitrust emerged as an acceptable means of governance to curtail international cartel behavior, discipline monopolies at home, and impose an American-led liberal—and hegemonic—internationalism on much of the rest of the world.

The essay will appear in American Democracy and Antimonopoly, a Tobin Project publication, edited by Professors William Novak and Daniel Crane. Additionally, it will play a major role in the first chapter of Phillips Sawyer’s next book, which explores the macroeconomic pressures on American antitrust law and policy. Her first book, American Fair Trade: Proprietary Capitalism, Corporatism, and the ‘New Competition,’ 1890-1940, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.

Georgia Law Professor Durkee talks on business, global governance at ILW 2020

Professor Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, the Allen Post Professor of Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, was among the scholars and practitioners who took part in a panel entitled “Business Engagement in Global Governance” during International Law Weekend, the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Branch of the International Law Association. Typically held in New York City, because of the coronavirus pandemic this year’s ILW took place online.

Here’s the panel description:

Many international organizations are now partnering with business groups, seeking expertise, corporate engagement with important issues, and funds. While public-private partnerships can seem indispensable, the danger of undue influence is real. This roundtable will discuss cutting-edge efforts by international organizations to capture benefits of business participation while restraining harms, and how past experience may offer lessons for future challenges.

Joining Durkee in discussing these issues were Igor da Silva Barbosa, First-Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations Office in Geneva; Professor Kristina Daugirdas, University of Michigan Law School; and Nancy Thevenin, General Counsel of the United States Council for International Business. Dr. Ayelet Berman, Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore, served as moderator.

Georgia Law Prof. Cohen presents “Nations and Markets” at International Economic Law and Policy seminar

Harlan Cohen, who is 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, recently presented his paper, “Nations and Markets,” in the International Economic Law and Policy work-in-progress seminar.

IELAP is a London-based series (currently online) convened by: Dr. Federico Ortino, Reader of International Economic Law, King’s College London; Dr. Lauge Poulsen, Associate Professor in International Political Economy and Director of Graduate Studies in Political Science, University College London; and Dr. Mona Pinchis-Paulsen , Assistant Professor at the Department of Law, London School of Economics.

Georgia Law Professor Christopher Bruner presents to International Monetary Fund on corporations and sustainability

Professor Christopher Bruner, the Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, recently presented “The Corporation as Technology: Re-Calibrating Corporate Governance for a Sustainable Future” to the International Monetary Fund, a 75-year-old organization of 189 countries that, operating within the United Nations system, works to “foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.”

Bruner’s online presentation was organized by the IMF Legal Department and moderated by Rhoda Weeks-Brown, Director of the Legal Department and the IMF’s General Counsel.  Attendees included staff lawyers and economists from across the IMF.

His talk was based on the book that he is currently writing, which is due to be published by Oxford University Press next year.

Cohen presents “Nations and Markets” at Michigan Law workshop

Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of Dean Rusk International Law Center, recently presented “Nations and Markets” at the International Law Workshop at the University of Michigan Law School.

Led by Michigan Law Professor Monica Hakimi, this course features presentations and discussions of works in progress by leading international legal scholars. In addition to Professor Cohen, the Spring 2020 course will include presentations by professors from Cornell Law, Max Planck-Hamburg, Temple Law, University College London, Northwestern Law, California-Berkeley Law, and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Georgia Law Dean Bo Rutledge, students Katherine Larsen and Miles Porter publish on Cuba sanctions

Recent change in US policy toward Cuba is the subject of a new commentary by the dean and 2 student researchers here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Coauthoring the Daily Report article, entitled “Lawyers Should Keep Their Eyes on Cuba Sanctions Cases,” were international business law expert Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, Dean and Herman E. Talmadge Chair of Law at Georgia  Law, along with 3L Katherine M. Larsen and 2L Miles S. Porter.

The article examines the potentially “broad implications for entities that conduct business in or with Cuba” that may follow from the announcement earlier this year that a portion of the mid-1990s “Helms-Burton Act would no longer be suspended, thereby allowing U.S. nationals to file lawsuits against any individual or entity that ‘traffics in property expropriated by the Cuban government.”

The full commentary is here.

Georgia Law Professor Cohen presents on “Nations and Markets” at Amsterdam ACIL-ESIL conference

Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law, was among more than 40 scholars from around the world who presented their scholarship earlier this month at at the International Economic Law and Security Interests Conference at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Cohen spoke on “Nations and Markets” as part of a plenary panel entitled “The Public and the Private: Security Concerns and the Future of International Economic Governance.”

Co-hosts of the 2-day conference were the university’s Amsterdam Center for International Law and the Interest Group on International Economic Law of the European Society of International Law.

Global Governance Summer School students attend RECONNECT conference on democracy and the rule of law in the European Union

LEUVEN & BRUSSELS – The morning opened with an introduction to the European Union, presented by Michal Ovadek, a research fellow at the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies. An expert in the European Union legislative process, he provided an overview of the European Union architecture, and outlined the primary challenges to democracy in Europe. The session was designed to prepare students to participate fully in the rest of the day’s activities: a conference devoted to a research project aimed at reinvigorating core values of the European Union.

From left, Gamble Baffert, Charles Wells, Leila Knox, Emily Doumar, Maria Lagares Romay, Blanca Ruiz Llevot, Steven Miller, Alicia Millspaugh, and Briana Blakely.

The RECONNECT: Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law project, established by the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, is supported by funds from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme. As part of the larger project, the Leven Centre convened the International Conference on Democracy and the Rule of Law in the EU. It gathered experts to discuss contemporary challenges to European Union integration, including judicial independence and rule of law, free press, and democratic institutions in countries like Poland and Hungary.

The conference took place in the Brussels’ beautiful Academy Palace, and opened with a welcome by Professor Jan Wouters (left), Co-Director of the Global Governance Summer School.

The conference featured keynote remarks by Daniel Keleman, Professor of Political Science and Law and Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Politics at Rutgers University, and Koen Lenaerts, President of the Court of Justice of the European Union (right). Two policy roundtables also featured perspectives from academics and advocates from around Europe on democracy and rule of law in the European Union, respectively.

From left, Kathleen Garnett, Holly Stephens, Steven Miller, Alicia Millspaugh, Emily Snow.