Melbourne Law School
Wednesday 14 November
Room 609, Level 6
1:00PM - 2:00PM



About the seminar

For some years the international trading system established in the shape of the OECD-led WTO has been undergoing a progressive change.  This has been driven by an extension of trade rules into what used to be the domain of domestic regulatory policies and by a diffusion of market power away from the OECD-Club.   The established order now faces challenges.  The WTO has made no real progress largely due to the difficulties differentiating between WTO members according to their level of development and there is no domestic consensus on new rules (especially in some leading OECD economies).  The recent reversion to power based trade policies on the part of the United States has precipitated a crisis in the WTO. So what are the prospects for a rules-based trade and investment system?

About the presenter

Stephen Woolcock is currently an Associate Professor in international relations at the London School of Economics (LSE) where he teaches international political economy, the political economy of international trade and economic diplomacy. He is head of the LSE's International Trade Policy Unit. Before joining the LSE he was Deputy Director for International Affairs with the Confederation of British Industry where he worked on trade issues in the Uruguay Round. As Senior Research Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) he worked on transatlantic trade relations as well as European trade policy. Next to his academic work he has provided policy briefings and reports for various public bodies, such as the European Parliament, European Commission, The Commonwealth Secretariat and various national governments. His main area of expertise is in preferential trade and investment agreements, the international and domestic factors shaping trade negotiations and European trade and investment policy in particular.

He is currently on sabbatical from the LSE and is conducting research that assesses the degree to which the major actors in trade policy share a common understanding of what is meant by rules-based trading today. His recent books include S. Woolcock and N. Bayne (eds). 'The New Economic Diplomacy: Decision-Making and Negotiation in International Economic Relations' (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2016  4th edition); S. Woolcock, 'European Union Economic Diplomacy' (Ashgate, 2012); K Heydon and S Woolcock (eds) 'The Ashgate Research Companion to International Trade Policy', 2012.