Dr. Wolfgang Alshner Receives SSHRC Grant for Research on Rules Governing International Trade

Posted on Friday, February 1, 2019

Common Law’s Dr. Wolfgang Alscghner has received an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for a project entitled “Multilateralizing ‘WTO-extra’ Issues: A computational analysis of rule convergence in preferential trade agreements”.

Since the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) twenty years ago, international trade has changed radically due to fast-paced progress in modern information and communication technology. Yet the multilateral rules governing international trade are still those of the pre-Internet era. As a result, the WTO is ill-equipped to deal with many policy areas vital for 21st century trade, from e-commerce to investment protection. These so-called “WTO-extra” issues are instead being regulated in bilateral or regional preferential trade agreements. Professor Alschner’s research will combine state-of-the-art computational social science techniques with legal analysis to empirically assess whether existing bilateral rules could provide a blueprint for future multilateral rulemaking.

SSHRC’s Insight Development Grants enable the development of new research questions, as well as experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches and/or ideas.

Congratulations to Dr. Alschner!

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