Call for Papers. 2017 Conference: New International Trade and Investment Rules Between Globalization and Anti-Globalization

I am happy to circulate a call for papers that has just been released by the Foundation for Law and International Affairs and the Coalition for Peace and Ethics. Together with the Alliance Manchester Business School, and the Pennsylvania State University Research and Carreer Development Network for Law and International Affairs, FLIA and the CPE will hold a conference on International Trade and Investment Rules Between Globalization and Anti-Globalization.

The Conference will explore, among others, the following questions:

  • What are the significant powers promoting or holding back international trade and investment?
  • To what extent have the endorsement TPP and the negotiation of TTIP and TISA reshaped the international order and impacted people’s lives?
  • To what extent is the OBOR Framework an alternative to or supplement of TTP-TTIP?
  • What is the relationship between bilateralism in trade and multilateral efforts such as TTP or OBOR?

Abstracts, no longer than 250 words and accompanied by a CV, are due by Monday, January 30, 2017. The Conference will be held on April 22-23, 2017 in State College, Pennsylvania. Presentations will be held in English or in Chinese, and selected papers will be published after peer review.

The Theme

Globalization has proven to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, globalization strengthens commercial and financial interdependence and cooperation among different countries through robust markets and production undertaken through global supply chains. On the other hand, globalization has sometimes increased the gap between both rich and the poor individuals within states, and between developed and developing states. This growing gap follows from the uneven penetration of globalization within states and between them. Both individuals and states participate unequally in the processes and rewards of globalization as an economic, societal, cultural and political phenomenon. It should not surprise, then, that the acceleration and deepening of globalization has also accelerated and deepened resistance among individuals within even the most globalized states, and by states that feel increasingly left behind. In recent years, the rise of anti-globalization movements has had significant effects even within highly developed countries. These contestations of international exchanges, even in certain areas, such as science and the arts, that have a relatively well established foundation, has produced efforts to protect national cultures and values. But the contestations are even sharper in the context of globalizing economic orders and legal norms.

Nevertheless, globalization appears to continue to drive policy and to serve as the crux of contemporary societal development. Over the last decade there has been an intensification of efforts to construct conceptually coherent systems that are meant to facilitate interactions among states relating to the free movement of goods, enterprises, capital, and, to some extent, people across borders. Among these the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Trade in Service Agreement (TISA), driven by Western states, have offered the possibility of a substantially more integrated system of interactions. An emerging alternative has been developed by the People’s Republic of China. Its One Belt One Road (OBOR) Framework promises a different approach and perhaps one that serves developing states better. Both emerging multilateral systems have been challenged by rising popular nationalist sentiments and the possibility of protectionism and the re-emergence of national barriers. Moreover, the recent election in the United States has brought to power an administration that might consider a system of bilateral arrangements a better alternative to the systems represented by TTP-TTIP-TISA, or its OBOR alternatives.

This conference seeks to promote conversation around these themes, including but not limited to the following questions. What are the significant powers promoting or holding back international trade and investment? Will globalization eventually be embraced by the majority? Is it possible to underpin a set of constant norms and rules of international trade and investment? What direction will new international trade and investment Rules lead? To what extent have the endorsement TPP and the negotiation of TTIP and TISA reshaped the international order and impacted people’s lives? To what extent is the OBOR Framework an alternative to or supplement of TTP-TTIP? What is the relationship between bilateralism in trade and multilateral efforts such as TTP or OBOR? What are the effects of resistance to globalization and what are its consequences for the development of global trade? How has the internationalization of civil society and economic enterprises, as the twin pillars of the private sphere, affected the development and structures of globalization?

The conference invites paper submissions on the subject “New International Trade and Investment Rules in the Wake of Globalization and Anti-Globalization.” We hope to bring ideas from across the globe, consider historical and comparative contexts, and foster interdisciplinary conversation. Papers from all disciplines and geographical areas are welcome.

The Panels and the Special Session

There are three ways to attend the conference.

        1. Present at one of the following three panels:

        • The Convergence and Diversification of the International Trade and Investment Regimes

The United States and China appear to be pursuing distinct strategies toward the organization of international trade and investment. National and international organizations continue to work through the WTO, but regional and other multilateral frameworks appear to supplement or supplant the germinal structures of globalization. This panel considers the form and consequences of these quite significant movements to develop or move from the normative framework of trade of the last half century and to point to the new directions that the organization of trade and finance may be taking.

        • The Constitutionalization of International Trade and Investment Rules Beyond the State or Among States

Among the most remarkable developments of the last century has been the rise of the societal sphere and of non-state governance systems. These systems have acquired official recognition through international instruments, the most important of which might be the 2011 U.N. Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. This panel explores the scope and development of these non state governance systems, their interactions with legal frameworks at the national and international level, and the nature of its own autonomous operation.

        • The Rise of New Societal Orders and Global Supply Chains, Labor and Investment Markets

One of the important consequences of globalization in economic activity has been the change in the relationship between the state and production. More importantly, there has appeared to emerge new forms of organization of regulatory power within the processes of production itself. This panel will explore the scope and nature of these autonomous regulatory communities, their interactions with traditional centers of power, and their future importance.

To attend one of the above panels, please submit a 250-500 word abstract, along with a copy of your resume, by Monday, January 30, 2017. Submissions should be sent to contact[AT] with the subject title “FLIA Spring 2017 Conference + the topic of the panel.” The working language for these panels is English.

        2. Attend the Special Session: The New International Trade and Investment Rules: Chinese Perspectives

The explosion of Chinese exports has become one of the most significant events in international trade and investment. China has also been pursuing stronger influence in the global market by proactively engaging in the negotiation of international trade and investment partnerships and agreements. These extend well beyond its One Belt One Road policy and embrace trade, development, infrastructure projects and capacity building with its partners. A special session from the Chinese perspective on these themes will enrich the discussion on the conference topic.

To attend the special session, please submit a 250-500 word abstract, along with a copy of your resume, by Monday, January 30, 2017. Submissions should be sent to with the subject title “FLIA Spring 2017 Conference + Special Session.” The working language for the special session is Chinese or English.

        3. Attend without presenting

We also accept applications to attend the conference without presenting. Applicants should send a copy of their resume and reserve an audience seat.


Final papers should be submitted by Friday, April 14, 2017. Selected papers may be published in English as an edited collection. Others may be selected for publication in a Chinese edition of FLIA Publication.
To be considered for publication in English, completed papers should be approximately 8,000-10,000 words in length and in Western academic style offering analysis or production of knowledge with an eye to the existing literature. Alternatively, papers can focus on rigorous policy analysis considering perspectives from leaders or academics in the field. The papers will be peer reviewed.
Some high-quality selected papers will be translated into Chinese and be published by FLIA Publication in China – Academic Edition. Papers that are expected to be published in China may be submitted in Chinese as well.


The registration fee to attend the conference is $80. The registration fee may be paid upon arrival at the conference. This fee may be waived for students, members of NGOs, and invited participants. Conference participants will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation expense. For those who need invitation letters for visa purposes, please clearly indicate your need when applying for participation.

Please feel free to contact us at contact[AT] with any questions or concerns.

New Book: China’s Influence on Non Trade Concerns in International Economic Law

I am happy to announce the publication of a new book examining the role of China may very soon play in shaping the rules of globalization. The books is entitled China’s Influence on Non Trade Concerns in International Economic Law, and it is edited by Professor Paolo Davide Farah (West Virginia University) and Doctor Elena Cima (Graduate Institute of International Law and Development Studies, Geneva) for Routledge.

The volume starts from the premise that a globalization without concerns for local communities can produce negative externalities on markets and industries ranging from labor to energy, from education and knowledge production to food. Endangering good governance, as well as social, economic, cultural, and environmental rights over the medium term can significantly weaken globalization. At the same time, the perception that conflicts exist between international economic rules and non-trade concerns poses the question of how international law and international economic law can best work towards a stronger protection of rights.


The editors and the contributors to this timely volume provide an original answer, focussed on how current trends in Chinese law and policy towards international law may soon allow the country to play a leading role in the protection of non trade concerns. China, write the authors “not only has…adopted several reforms and new regulations to address NTCs; but it has started to play a very relevant role in international negotiations on NTCs such as climate change, enercy, and culture among others. While China is still considered a developing country … it promises to be a key actor in international law in general and, more specifically, in international economic law.”

The book’s Table of Content is available here.