“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 Cohen discusses developments in international trade law as part of plenary opening ASIL interest group conference at Texas A&M Law

Harlan Grant 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, took part in last Thursday’s opening plenary of the Biennial Conference of the American Society of International Law International Economic Law Interest Group.

On the opening plenary panel entitled “Sustainable Development and the Multiple Aims of Trade Law,” Cohen (above, 2d from left) primarily discussed the new competition to define international trade’s purpose, as well as the increasing enmeshments of trade and national security.

Organizer of the plenary was Nicolas Lamp, Queen’s University, Ontario (above, with Cohen to his left). Other panelists included (l to r): Ernesto Fernández Monge, Pew Charitable Trusts; Olabisi Akinkugbe, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University; Kathleen Claussen, University of Miami School of Law; Tony VanDuzer, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law; and Maria Panezi, University of New Brunswick School of Law. (photo credit)

The overall theme of the conference, which took place September 22 to 24 at Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas, was “Energy, Sustainability, and International Economic Law.”

Georgia Law Associate Dean MJ Durkee, our Center’s Director, gives online webinar to law students in Bangladesh

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, who is Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor here at Georgia Law, gave an online presentation on Friday, entitled “International Lobbying by Industry and Trade Groups: Context, Laws, Reforms,” to students at the Department of Law of North South University in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

She delivered the webinar by invitation of North South Law Professor Md. Rizwanul Islam, whose own scholarship includes examinations of the operation of international economic law in South Asia.

In her presentation, Durkee observed that COP26, the 2-week international climate change conference just concluded in Glasgow, Scotland, spotlighted difficulties in designing rules and processes that welcome nongovernmental organizations and business groups into global governance. She explored the adequacy vel non of conceptualizations of this challenge, and further considered possible designs for reform.

The webinar built on “Welcoming Participation, Avoiding Capture: A Five-Point Framework,” remarks that Durkee published in the Proceedings of the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting of 2020, available here.

Video of last Friday’s webinar may be found here.