The political economy of international law


Department of Legal Sciences, Faculty of Law
Sapienza University of Rome

May 16-17, 2014


Conference Overview

On May 16-17, 2014, the Sapienza University in Rome, Italy, will be hosting a conference on “The Political Economy of International Law” (PEIL Conference). Political Economy seeks to study the “why” questions (why do we have laws, institutions, independent courts) using as explanatory variables the “who” questions (who are the actors – legislators, executives, judges, interest groups – that participate in shaping the law) and “what” motivates them (their preferences) on the one hand and their constraints (power, resources, given institutions and law etc.) on the other hand. A change of the law is attributed to changes in the constraints. Political Economy explains why we sometimes are unable to achieve the best possible outcome (e.g. preventing climate change) and suggests how to move in a way that would be efficient and democratic. This conference will explore the idea that Political Economy and International Law can interact and balance each other out in a way that can be beneficial to the whole humanity. We, the international lawyers, have indeed the knowledge of the institutions and the experience to seek to reduce the powers of interest groups and to improve the power and welfare of the peoples and of civil societies (or should we speak about a global civil society?). Political Economy as a social science tool can assist lawyers to capture a problem’s underlying structure and to find solutions.

Venue: Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome  - Aula T2 (at the back of the Rettorato Building) and Aula Amaldi, Dipartimento di Fisica "G. Marconi".

Confirmed Speakers: Professors Anne van Aaken, Alessandra Arcuri, Eyal Benvenisti, Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Tomer Broude, Barbara Delcourt, Alessandra Gianelli, Meredith Kolsky Lewis, Christina Leb, Tobias Lehmann, Panagiotis Merkouris, André Nollkaemper, Giuseppe Palmisano, Niels Petersen, Andreas von Staden, Paul Stephan, Attila Tanzi, Joel Trachtman, Ramses Wessel and Jan Wouters.

Planning / Coordination: Dr. Alberta Fabbricotti, Sapienza University of Rome

Organization / Administration: Mrs. Patrizia Calafiori, Mr. Francesco Faustinella, Mr. Jacopo Maria Vaccaro, Dr. Daniela Vitiello

Contacts / Registration (Conference registration is compulsory and free of charge. Please send an email to the address below to register for the conference. You will receive the online registration form to be filled and sent)


© Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" - Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma