LL4AV      Half Unit
International Economic Law and Development

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Mona Pinchis-Paulsen


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time) and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou.


None. The course will provide students with a brief background in international economic law, however students may also find it helpful to take International Trade Law (LL4B1) and Investment Treaty Law (LL4E7). Students with no background in international trade law, may wish to consult a succinct summary of international trade law beforehand, see, for example, M. Trebilcock & J. Trachtman, Advanced Introduction to International Trade Law (Elgar, 2nd ed., 2020).

Students will benefit from an introduction into the foundations of public international law. Students with no previous background in public international law may find it helpful to consider consulting a standard textbook such as M. Evans (ed.), International Law (OUP, 5th ed., 2018) or J. Crawford, Brownlie’s Principles of Public International Law (OUP, 9th ed., 2019).

Course content

This course is designed for lawyers and policymakers who seek a deeper understanding of international economic governance and development in the international political economy. The focus of the course is how international economic law and its institutions interact with major concepts and debates in international development studies. The course adopts a global governance model, moving beyond a state-centric focus towards a more complicated picture of the world, examining regime design, institutions, corporations and trans-national networks, and the disaggregated state. Students will examine economic growth through theoretical, historical, and practical approaches to learn how the trade, finance, and international investment regimes establishes principles, standards, and mechanisms which impact economic development. In addition, students will use an historical lens to assess competing perspectives of globalisation as they work to understand processes of development and international economic governance. Overall, the course seeks to allow students to imagine new structures, focus, and ambitions for international economic law in development processes.

Topics to be covered may include: the law and development movement; the new developmentalism; the institutionalisation of economic development; the concept of equitable treatment; the idea of common concern of humankind; food security and agricultural trade; special and differential treatment for developing countries; public interests in international investment law; responsibilities of multi-national corporations; the concept of sustainability and its application in trade, investment, and finance; international health; gender equality; and the increasing role of technology and data.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours in Lent Term. Students will usually have two additional hours in the Summer Term. This year teaching will be delivered through recorded online lectures and a mix of both in-person and online classes to accommodate students who are unable to physically be on campus. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Lent Term.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to produce one 2,000 word formative essay during the course.

Indicative reading

Reading lists will be provided for each seminar on Moodle. Relevant readings may include: H.W. Arndt, Economic Development: The History of an Idea  (Chicago UP, 1987); J. Bonnitcha et al., The Political Economy of the Investment Treaty Regime (OUP, 2017); L. Eslava, Local Space, Global Life: The Everyday Operation of International Law and Development (CUP, 2015); C. Deere, The Implementation Game: The TRIPS Agreement and the Global Politics of Intellectual Property Reform in Developing Countries (OUP, 2009); K. Pistor, The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality (Princeton UP, 2019); J. Linarelli et al., The Misery of International Law: Confrontations with Injustice in the Global Economy (OUP, 2018); A. Narlikar, Power Narratives and Power Paradoxes in International Trade Negotiations and Beyond (CUP, 2020); J. Pohl, ‘Societal Benefits and Costs of International Investment Agreements,’ OECD Working Papers on International Investment (2018); D. Rodrik, Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy (Princeton UP, 2018); A. Santos et al., World Trade and Investment Law Reimagined: A Progressive Agenda for an Inclusive Globalization (Anthem, 2019); A. Sen, Development as Freedom (Random House, 1999); G. Fiti Sinclair, To Reform the World: International Organizations and the Making of Modern States (OUP, 2017); J. Stiglitz, ‘Dealing with Debt: How to Reform the Global Financial System’ (2003) 25 Harvard International Review 54; T. St John, The Rise of Investor-State Arbitration (OUP, 2018); J. Trachtman & C. Thomas, Developing Countries in the WTO Legal System (OUP, 2009); and K.E. Davis & M.J. Trebilcock. ‘The Relationship between Law and Development: Optimists versus Skeptics’ 56 (2008) American Journal of Comparative Law 895.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information