The seminar will explore the relationship between international trade and development policy and practice, both currently and historically. In particular, the seminar will critically investigate the link between trade and development that goes beyond a purely economic understanding and reaches questions of broad-based poverty alleviation, human rights, food security, environmental protections and even security and democratic reforms within and between nations. New, innovative approaches in the field, such as global value chains, impact investing, social entrepreneurship, spatial development and demand-driven policy reform will be introduced and discussed throughout the seminar. The purpose of the seminar’s exploration is to equip seminar members with the tools to integrate trade law and policy into a broader perspective on development (and vice versa) than that presented by economic analysis and current practice, in the hope of combining an understanding of the global trading system with expectations of its role in sustainable economic development.
The seminar will take place in three phases. In Phase I the seminar will explore the relationship between trade and development and how it relates to a common good. Phase II will explore several specific areas related to trade and development that are pertinent to the current debate. In Phase III, seminar members will apply the understanding gained in Parts I and II–in conjunction with their own research–in analyzing the relationship between trade and development in specific, concrete situations. This will include a brief presentation by each seminar member, as part of a larger panel, before the seminar. This phase will lay the groundwork for the final paper.
The required and recommended readings extend well beyond traditional analysis of trade agreements and negotiations into law, economics, history and politics in an effort to raise not just technical questions about trade practice and law but to focus as well on the equitable political economy considerations inherent in the operation of the current system. Seminar members are encouraged to bring to the discussion resources and points of view beyond those recommended. In the third part of the course, seminar members will be offered the opportunity of engaging in a current topic concerning trade and development. At different stages throughout the seminar, leading scholars, practitioners and policymakers in the wider Washington, D.C. community may be included in the discussions.