IGIR research is applied to both traditional academic settings and policy discussions in Europe and in international realm, contributing to better-informed discussions and outcomes.
IGIR Fellows publish articles and books, produce policy briefs in collaboration with non-academic partners such as NGOs and think tanks, and carry out research for international institutions and governments in the form of studies and briefs for policymakers.
IGIR research lines
International and European Trade and Investment Law
IGIR’s international trade and investment research group focuses on the challenges posed by the limiting effect of international rules regarding trade liberalisation and investment protection on the sovereign autonomy of states to pursue important societal objectives. Not only the substantive obligations contained in the international trade and investment regimes but also the institutional arrangements through which these obligations are developed and enforced can have significant implications for the regulatory autonomy of States. Societal concern on these issues is evident from the intense public debate on the mega-regional trade and investment agreements recently concluded or currently being negotiated, such as the Canada - EU Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States, which aim at an unprecedented level of economic integration and regulatory coordination. The group is well placed to examine the increasing interaction between the international trade and investment regimes, and to benefit from opportunities to develop new insights arising from this interaction.
International and European Economic Law and Policy
Together, the IGIR research group focuses on the concept of “Trust in Trade”, which serves as an overarching focal point to address the regulation of Global Markets and the role that national, regional and international actors and institutions play in this regard.
The rise of economic nationalism signals the erosion of trust in international trade and the rules that govern it. For stakeholders to trust the international economic law (IEL) regime, it is crucial that it takes sufficient account of their interests and appropriately balances them in case of conflict. This trust is under pressure, as is evident in efforts for law making/reform, implementation, and enforcement of law. This theme aims to suggest ways to restore trust in trade.
At the law-making level, trust in the institutions and the output they produce depends on whether, and in what form, stakeholders can have an input. At the implementation and compliance level, trust stems from the quality of rules, their ability to serve the intended purpose and appropriately balance conflicting interests of stakeholders. At the enforcement level, trust is a determining factor for its effectiveness and it is based on legitimacy, procedural safeguards, costs and efficiency.
The “Trust in Trade” concept enables the Institute and its research groups to align itself with the Faculty’s research programme in that it squarely falls within the Globalising Markets focal point, while also making excursions to Global justice (WTO), Institutional transformations, and Cross-border cooperation and mobility possible.