Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Conference: The Political Economy of International Law

On May 16-17, 2014, the Department of Legal Sciences at the Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" Faculty of Law will hold a conference on "The Political Economy of International Law." The program is here. Here's the idea:
On May 16-17, 2014, the Sapienza University in Rome, Italy, will be hosting a conference on “The Political Economy of International Law” (PEIL Conference). Political Economy seeks to study the “why” questions (why do we have laws, institutions, independent courts) using as explanatory variables the “who” questions (who are the actors – legislators, executives, judges, interest groups – that participate in shaping the law) and “what” motivates them (their preferences) on the one hand and on their constraints (power, resources, given institutions and law etc.) on the other hand. A change of the law is attributed to changes in the constraints. Political Economy explains why we sometimes are unable to achieve the best possible outcome (e.g. preventing climate change) and suggests how to move in a way that would be efficient and democratic. This conference will explore the idea that Political Economy and International Law can interact and balance each other out in a way that can be beneficial to the whole humanity. We, the international lawyers, have indeed the knowledge of the institutions and the experience to seek to reduce the powers of interest groups and to improve the power and welfare of the peoples and of civil societies (or should we speak about a global civil society?). Political Economy as a social science tool can assist lawyers to understand the underlying problems structure and find solutions.