Most of our research activities, teaching modules and advisory services relate to trade. We focus primarily on the global and regional trade architecture. We study the functioning of the World Trade Organization and its many treaties from the angles of politics, law and economics. In addition, we analyse closely the emergence and effects of preferential trade agreements. As trade policy ‘begins at home’ we also put emphasis on how different states design and implement trade policy strategies and the level of support from the general public for trade liberalisation. Whereas trade originally focused exclusively on tariff barriers for goods, today’s trade policy is characterised by many trade-related issues, such as intellectual property rights, standards, competition policy, services and investments. Increasingly trade policy is constructed within a broader foreign policy context where non-trade issues, such as democracy, corruption, human rights enter the picture. We propose a holistic interdisciplinary approach to studying the evolving challenges of the global trading system that is characterised by increasing market interdependence.

People: Manfred Elsig, Joseph Francois, Octavio Fernández-Amador, Doris Oberdabernig

Courses: MILE, Winter and Summer Academy, TRAIL+

Events: World Trade Forum, ETSG

Research: DESTA; NCCR; Realising Europe’s Soft Power in External Cooperation and Trade, EC Horizon 2020, 2018-2020; Productivity, Non-Tariff Barriers and Openness (PRONTO), EC FP7, 2014-2018; BRICS Globalisation and Labour Protections, SNSF (professorship project), 2017-2021