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10 Jun 2016


WTI completes core academic team

The WTI is pleased to announce the arrival of new professors in the coming months to enhance the Institute’s teaching offer and complete its core group of academic staff.

On 1 July WTO Appellate Body member Peter Van den Bossche will take up his position as Director of Studies. Prof. Van den Bossche has also been appointed professor of international economic law at the WTI. Together with Professor Michael Hahn and other colleagues at the Faculty of Law, he will help maintain the WTI’s position as a leading institution in the field of international economic law and policy.

Prof. Van den Bossche has been an external member of faculty on the MILE graduate programme for 14 years. He will initially work part-time until he completes his term at the WTO in 2018.

Two researchers who recently were awarded SNSF professorships will join the WTI in January. Lawyer Elisa Fornalé will conduct a project entitled ‘Framing Environmental Degradation, Human Mobility and Human Development as a Matter of Common Concern'. This aims to contribute to a conceptualisation of climate-driven migration and a new understanding of the responsibility of states in dealing with collective problems. It is based on the emerging doctrine of common concern in international law. Elisa Fornalé was previously a researcher on migration within the WTI’s NCCR Trade Regulation project.

Political scientist Damian Raess from the University of Geneva specialises in the comparative political economy of labour and globalisation. At the WTI he will head a project entitled ‘BRICs Globalisation and Labour Protection in Advanced and Emerging Economies’. This will examine the extent to which the BRICs economies’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China) trade and foreign investment enhance or undermine labour standards in Europe and in the BRICs themselves.

Both projects are being funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF.

The new appointments mean the WTI has finally completed its core academic team following the arrival of economics professors Joseph Francois (also WTI Managing Director) and Koen Berden (Director of Outreach), and professor of law Michael Hahn (Director) in 2015.

Joseph Francois has been Managing Director and professor of economics at the World Trade Institute since January 2015. He also serves as deputy director of the NCCR Trade Regulation. Previously he was professor of economics (with a chair in economic theory) at the Johannes Kepler Universität Linz.

Koen Berden is Director of Outreach at the WTI as well as assistant professor at Erasmus University. He is responsible for the WTI project portfolio, strategic (academic) alliances of the WTI, the creation of short courses and trainings, and – together with the communications team – responsible for news outreach of the WTI. He recently began teaching in the MILE programme.

Michael Hahn joined the Institute as Professor of Law and Director; he is also the Managing Director of the Institute for European and International Economic Law of the University of Bern Law School. Before moving to Bern, Michael held the chair of European law at the University of Lausanne and was a Professor of Law at the University of Waikato, Hamilton (New Zealand).

The new professors join Manfred Elsig, Deputy Director of the WTI and Director of the NCCR, as well as other in-house researchers, in advancing the WTI’s academic offering.