Deadline for closed panels and papers fast approaching (7 October)!

Call for papers for specific open panels on water resources and FTAs below:

Panel "Redefining international relations through free trade agreements?"

As more states and regional groupings decide to enter new FTA negotiations, given waning hopes for a multilateral negotiation at the WTO, they are not just creating the ‘spaghetti bowls’ Jagdish Bhagwatti and other economists feared, but reshaping the global governance system. FTAs that include Western powers like the USA and European Union, feature deep regulatory integration amongst the signatory economies, and include the Singapore issues (intellectual property protection, competition policy, liberalisation of services and public procurements) that many developing states opposed at the WTO. In bilateral negotiations it becomes easier for the larger economies with asymmetric power to gain acquiescence from partners. Yet, increasingly emerging and developing states are redefining the rules even at the bilateral level, for instance despite years of negotiations the EU still has not finalised FTA agreements with Mercosur, India, Vietnam and Malaysia. Competing approaches to FTAs, economic integration, and procedural matters are complicating the international FTA scenario. This panel seeks to address the questions of: i) how FTA negotiations, and FTA content, are reshaping international economic governance rules; ii) are there distinct Northern/Western, Emerging and Southern approaches to FTAs, and how do they differ and interact; iii) how is the global South responding to the growing FTA agenda; iv) what are the effects of new generation FTAs on international power dynamics.

Panel "Challenges of Contemporary Governance of Transboundary Water Resources Conflicts"

The most pressing challenges of global governance are to maintain international peace and security. Threats to international security we are examining are the geopolitical, legal, strategic and economic stakes of transboundary waters governance. In an era of uncertainty most of the regions of the world perceive transboundary waters disputes as a threat to their national security, which explain the proliferation of river basins commissions and organisations. As most of international treaties and cooperation show, the stronger the states the higher is the possibility to impose its political will on other smaller, fragile, and weaker or weakened regional states. In a world system that is ruled by power relations the traditional political and legal debates (asserting upstream controlling downstream nations’ water security) that dominated the 1960s, the 1970s throughout the 1990s don’t reflect regional realities. Antagonism between upper and lower riparian states is worsen by a combination of factors such as uneven distribution of waters resources, unbalanced infrastructural development, climate hazards, unilateralism, population growth and socioeconomic challenges. Climate change effect will intensifies conflict, thus the challenges of global governance, between those who suffer shortage, due to structural weakness, and those who have the means to ensure their water security. In the absence of global governance how do weak states defend their water security? What is the role of power asymmetry in international water conflict? Which global/regional mechanism is likely to manage conflicts over water?