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19 Nov 2021


Anqi Wang successfully defends her PhD Thesis

On 16 November 2021, Anqi Wang, PhD student at the WTI, successfully defended her thesis, which she wrote under the supervision of Prof. Peter Van den Bossche and Dr. Rodrigo Polanco. Read our interview with Anqi below.

1. Congratulations Anqi, you just defended your thesis in front of your supervisors and others! How are you feeling?

Thank you! Yes, I just defended my thesis at the WTI and now I’m officially a doctor in law. It’s been four years of research and I’m glad to see it approved by my supervisors. I’m feeling excited. It’s a start of a new chapter!

2. Can you tell us what your thesis is about and why the topic matters?

My thesis is about the interpretation and application of the Most-favored-nation clause in international investment arbitration.

I chose this topic in view of the lack of consistency of MFN interpretation by international tribunals. The MFN clause is a rather essential treaty clause for states to regain their regulatory power as treaty makers, and for their reform efforts of their International investment treaties to reach a proper balance between investment protection and other important factors like sustainable development, corporate social responsibilities, human rights and climate change, among others.

3. How did you go about doing such extensive research?

At the WTI, we have to present our doctoral research in our annual colloquium for PhD students. The colloquium provides a clear timeline for my research and I also received practical suggestions from our professors, which are rather useful for my research.

In addition, I also agreed on a clear timeline with my supervisors and we arranged regular meetings to follow up my research.

4. How has your experience been as a PhD student at the World Trade Institute (WTI)?

I really appreciate my time as a doctoral student at the WTI. As an interdisciplinary institute, the WTI provides us with mind-opening seminars, classes and events from the fields of law, economics and political science. In addition, as a leading trade law and investment law institute, the WTI has a valuable law library, which certainly facilitated my doctoral research to a great extent.

5. What are the highlights from your time as a WTI PhD student?

Definitely the day when I defended my thesis. It’s a four-year project with the help of my supervisors and my colleagues, who gave me valuable suggestions on my thesis.

6. What advice would you give people who want to embark on the PhD journey at the WTI?

My first suggestion is to make full use of the resources of the WTI. It has the leading professors of multiple fields and from my own experience, they’re more than willing to help us as young scholars. Second is to reach out to your colleagues and supervisors when you need help, it’s a very important supporting system for our doctoral life. Also, enjoy the beautiful nature of Switzerland!

If you want to read more about the WTI's Doctoral Programme, please click on the link below.