The World Trade Institute (WTI) is a leading academic institution dedicated to teaching and research focused on international trade and investment regulation and economic globalisation and sustainability. As a centre of excellence at the University of Bern with an international, interdisciplinary focus, we explore the interconnections between the fields of law, economics and political science.
About the Institute
The World Trade Institute (WTI)
World Trade Review
The World Trade Review (WTR) was established at the initiative of the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in close cooperation with Cambridge University Press. It is an independent journal - the Editor and all but one member of the Editorial Board are drawn from university faculties - that includes articles written from economic, legal, political and inter-disciplinary perspectives on issues of relevance to the multilateral trading system. Priority is given to papers that, along with being academically rigorous, are also accessible to government policy officials and the wider public. The journal also includes shorter articles seeking to rebut or challenge published papers.
As of July 2020, the new editorial team to lead the WTR consists of:
- Peter van den Bossche, Professor of International Economic Law at the University of Bern and Director of Studies of the World Trade Institute.
- Manfred Elsig, Professor of International Relations at the University of Bern and Deputy Managing Director of the World Trade Institute.
- Joseph Francois, Professor of International Economics at the University of Bern and Managing Director of the World Trade Institute.
- Mona Pinchis-Paulsen, Assistant Professor of International Economic Law at The London School of Economics and Political Science.
The vision statement of the new editorial team is as follows:
"The incoming editors wish to thank Alan Winters for his outstanding work with the journal. We are aware that the current global landscape is challenging for the study of global trade governance. Crises of multilateralism and a more power-based approach to preferential trade agreements, geopolitical tensions, growing nationalism and populism and a new pandemic are all stress testing the system. In these times, scholarly contributions are more important than ever. Following in the footsteps of Alan, we aim to continue to publish state-of-the art research in the respective fields of the journal. We welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions to provide insights into the world trading system writ large. We also encourage historical work in economics, law and international relations".
Their mission statement is:
"The mission of the World Trade Review is to provide a platform for rigorous, high quality scholarship that addresses salient questions regarding the system of international law and organisations governing trade and foreign investment. Such questions are inherently inter-disciplinary, and the managing editors encourage articles that address trade and investment governance from economic, legal, political, historical and inter-disciplinary perspectives. The peer review process assures that articles meet highest standards in terms of methodological rigour. The aim is to have impact not only in an academic sense, but also in the broader sense of bettering our understanding of systemic challenges through critical analysis and constructive debate. We encourage contributions from all corners of the world. While academic rigour is important, priority is placed on articles that are accessible to policy officials and the wider public".
The WTI is delighted and honoured that its directors, alongside Assistant Professor Mona Pinchis-Paulsen, have been appointed as new editors of the WTR. News about publications and other updates ( for example call for proposals) related to the WTR will published regularly on the WTI website. You can also consult the Cambridge University Press website linked on the left.
Please make sure to also follow the official WTR Twitter account for new updates and news. The link is on the left.
Education, research, consultancy
The WTI combines graduate-level education, interdisciplinary research and specialised advisory services in a unique and dynamic institution. We recruit students, researchers, faculty and employees from around the world, creating a diverse culture and stimulating environment.
The WTI closely cooperates with the Institute of European and International Economic Law, which shares the same premises.
Contact and location
World Trade Institute, University of Bern
3012 Bern, Switzerland
Phone: +41 (0)31 631 3270
How to reach us
On foot from the central railway station:
When you arrive on the platform, do not descend into the station. Take the stairs/escalator up the west exit and follow the next stairs/escalator north. On Schanzenstrasse continue uphill for about 300 metres. Turn right on Hallerstrasse (at the Parterre Café) and walk about 50 metres. The World Trade Institute is on the opposite side of the street.
By bus from the central tram/bus stop on Bahnhofplatz:
Take bus number 20 to Länggasse and get off at 'Universität'. Continue in the direction of the bus for about 50 metres. At the corner of Hallerstrasse turn right and walk about 50 metres. The World Trade Institute is on the opposite side of the street.
The institute was founded upon the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of the GATT and the advent of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. It was established in 1999 to train future practitioners and researchers from all over the world and to strengthen research capacities in areas that have an increasing impact on people's lives. The financial crisis in 2008 showed the importance of not only a stable and open multilateral trading system under the auspices of the WTO but also organisations and agreements promoting regional integration.
Vision, mission and values
- We aim to shape public policy so that international economic governance yields tangible benefits for society
- We strive to be the world's leading academic institution for studies, teaching and research in international trade and investment regulation and economic globalisation and sustainability
- We are a centre of excellence at the University of Bern
- We contribute to a better understanding of the legal, economic and political framework governing globalisation and sustainable development
- We provide cutting-edge research and scholarly outputs on frontier topics
- We attract top graduate students from around the world and give them the knowledge and skills to become tomorrow's leaders in the field of international economic governance
- Openness: We share knowledge and conduct interdisciplinary research with peers worldwide
- Innovation: We generate original ideas and engage in thought leadership
- Equality: We are committed to inclusiveness and non-discrimination
- Sustainability: We aim to ensure institutional memory, continuity and knowledge transfer
Quality assurance and development
Quality assurance and development is important to the World Trade Institute. Our efforts are based on the quality strategy of the University of Bern (Quality Strategy of the University of Bern). With internal course and related reviews and scientific reporting we aim to meet the university guidelines on quality. Selected courses offered by the World Trade Institute in the context of its Master programmes were subject to course evaluation by the faculties of the University of Bern, and have been very positively assessed. Besides quality in research and education, we are also promoting gender equality and sustainability.
Support, tools and resources
Microsoft Outlook web access
The WTI provides employees with remote access to their email accounts, calendars and contacts. Microsoft Outlook Web Access can be accessed through any browser but we advise employees to use Internet Explorer.
ILIAS course management system
The WTI employs the ILIAS Course Management System of the University of Bern, a powerful open-source platform used to deliver course materials and syllabi, evaluate courses and conduct assessments. Instructions on how to log in for the first time are available here.
VPN Client and WebVPN
Students and employees of the WTI can either download the University of Bern's VPN (Virtual Private Network) client or use WebVPN to create an encrypted connection to the university network. Remote access to the network allows students and employees to use a range of electronic resources of the university. In particular, it grants access to electronic subscriptions to academic journals.
Book a classroom
The WTI's modern seminar facilities can be booked depending on availability.
Three rooms are available offering space for between 12 and 60 persons.
For reservations or further information, please contact Sandra Joseph (+41 31 631 30 79)
2 PhD students in Political Science for SNF Project Trade and Democracy (TRADEM), 2021-2024
We look for 2 PhD students contributing to a SNF Project on Trade and Democracy. The project studies the interaction between trade agreements and democracy. It focuses on how the WTO and preferential trade agreements impact on democracy through implementation and compliance mechanisms. The PhD students will join the WTI’s interdisciplinary doctoral school and will be integrated into the international team responsible for the Design of Trade Agreements Database (DESTA).
Find more details here.
For a list of job openings at the University of Bern, click here.