'Globalisation' encapsulates the developing inter-connectedness of markets and economic systems, driven by trade liberalisation. Yet, alongside this drive towards trade liberalisation, the international community has committed itself to a diverse range of objectives, including environmental and social, exemplified by the commitment to sustainable development. These objectives are established and pursued by different actors through separate (specialist) regimes. Thus while the World Trade Organisation regulates international trade at multilateral level, alongside this trade regime are numerous regional and multilateral commitments relating to, for example, environmental protection, climate change, to labour standards, to and human rights.
This module, 'Globalisation and Law', is concerned with the challenges posed to democracy and accountability arising from the emergence of new and diverse forms of governance, undertaken by a diverse range of actors, responsible for a diverse range of (sometimes conflicting) interests.
To explore, and give substance to these otherwise potentially abstract issues, the module is structured around a case study through which to expose the issues raised, and consider responses to the regulatory challenges posed, by globalisation.
Aims and Objectives
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Describe and critically assess the interaction between different bodies of law contributing to the regulation of globalisation
- Critically evaluate the regulatory challenges arising from the global commitment to prima facie conflicting objectives, such as those exemplified in the principle of sustainable development
- Evaluate different approaches to the achievement of a regulatory balance between different objectives
- Comment upon the impact upon democracy and accountability of new forms and levels of governance
Transferable and Generic Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Critically evaluate others' arguments
- Evaluate the material obtained from primary and secondary, electronic and paper sources
- Undertake self-directed research
- Develop and present a written argument with appropriate evidence and attention to detail and demonstrating an awareness of academic integrity
Knowledge and Understanding
Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
- Different levels of governance and bodies of law which contribute to the regulation of globalisation
- Regulatory approaches to the management of diverse objectives
- The regulatory challenges arising from the global commitment to prima facie conflicting objectives, such as are exemplified by the commitment to sustainable development
- The potential and limits of traditional approaches to, and instruments of, 'public international law' in responding to contemporary challenges posed by globalisation
- The challenges to democracy and accountability posed by new and emerging forms of governance
The emergence of new and diverse global, non-state, actors such as the World Trade Organisation and European Union raises questions relating to democracy and accountability of decision-making which compound the regulatory challenge posed by the need to reconcile the diverse commitments of the international community.
Key legal and regulatory issues addressed in this module
- The complexity of governance and regulation in an increasingly globalised context, where governance takes new and diverse forms and is undertaken by a diverse range of actors
- The challenges posed to democracy and accountability by the emergence of such new forms and levels of global governance
- The regulatory challenges posed by new forms and levels of governance acting in or applying to diverse, and frequently conflicting, fields
- Different approaches to achieving a regulatory balance between different international obligations and to meeting the challenges posed by new forms and levels of governance
Case study: The principle of sustainable development
Sustainable development has been selected as a case study in recognition of its status as a 'principle' of particular contemporary significance. Thus the module, having provided an introduction to the theoretical framework of the course, highlighting questions of democracy and accountability posed by the emergence of new forms of governance by new international actors, examines:
- the meaning and content of sustainable development: highlighting the interdependence of the prima facie conflicting objectives therein: social (including human rights protection), environmental protection and economic development are highlighted
- the international legal and institutional regulatory frameworks within which sustainable development has been adopted and can be delivered
- the diverse regimes engaged by the commitment to sustainable development: in particular trade liberalisation regimes (the EU and WTO) and International Environmental Law, in particular focusing upon the international responses to the challenge of climate change.
- the operationalisation of sustainable development in particular contexts (e.g. the EU)
- the institutional/judicial response where the principle has manifested (whether explicitly or implicitly) in case law in different fora (e.g. CJEU, WTO)
- the challenges to democracy and accountability exposed by pursuit of the principle of sustainable development (and the responses to its delivery).
- alternative regulatory approaches to the realisation of sustainable development
To do so the module is structured in three substantive parts and a concluding part drawing the issues together:
1: The overarching legal framework - unpacking 'sustainable development'
2: Spotlight on the WTO - Trade and Environment
3: Climate Change: The International Framework of Regulation - Effecting Change?
4 Conclusions: Globalisation and Democracy: Regulatory Challenge
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching methods include:
- Weekly one hour lecture
- Weekly two hour seminar
Learning activities include:
- Directed Reading as per distributed reading lists
- Preparation for seminars including preparing answers to set questions and identifying own questions to ask in the seminars
- Preparing and writing formative coursework and self-reflection of that process
- Class discussion (including small group work, presentation and debate)
- Formative assessment, constructively aligned with the exam
|Preparation for scheduled sessions||70|
|Wider reading or practice||10|
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Resources. This module is highly research led, exploring the key substantive issues through an innovative case study approach. This requires a range of sources including: Reid, Balancing Human Rights, Environmental Protection and International Trade: Lessons from the EU Experience, Oxford, Hart, 2017 The principal library resources exist through the library's existing holdings (including electronic). The module will also be supported by material on the associated Blackboard VLE pages.
Emily Reid (2017). Balancing Human Rights, Environmental Protection and International Trade: Lessons from the EU Experience. Oxford: Hart.
This is how we’ll give you feedback as you are learning. It is not a formal test or exam.Formative Assessment
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
This is how we’ll assess you if you don’t meet the criteria to pass this module.
An internal repeat is where you take all of your modules again, including any you passed. An external repeat is where you only re-take the modules you failed.
Repeat type: Internal & External