Symposium addresses economic statecraft in a multipolar world

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Leading international law and economics scholars and practitioners convened at Maryland Carey Law on Nov. 3 for discussions on the importance of economics, international organizations, and the role of statecraft. The symposium, titled “Economic Statecraft in a Multipolar World,” was hosted jointly by the Maryland Journal of International Law and the Maryland Carey Law International Law Society.  

Will O’Malley ’24 is editor-in-chief of the Maryland Journal of International Law. The journal, he said, identified the symposium’s topic because of its urgency and timeliness. 

“The world’s economies have never been as interdependent as they are right now,” said O’Malley. “Given this, economic statecraft weighs heavily on just about every issue that faces the international community, ranging from climate change to armed conflicts.”  

The event kicked off with a keynote address from Matt Ferchen, senior research scholar in law and senior fellow at Yale Law School Paul Tsai China Center. His scholarship focuses on Chinese economic statecraft and economic influence as well as broader issues of economic security. Ferchen spent nearly a decade on the faculty of the International Relations Department at Tsinghua University and as a scholar at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, both in Beijing. He holds a PhD in Comparative Politics from Cornell University. 

The keynote, which was moderated by Associate Dean Peter Danchin, professor and director of the International and Comparative Law Program, was followed by three panel discussions.  

The first panel, moderated by Maryland Carey Law Professor Maxwell Chibundu, was titled Economic Statecraft and Current Great Power Competition and focused on the use of economic statecraft as a foreign policy tool between the United States and China. Panelists were: 

  • Scott Anderson, Fellow, Brookings Institution  
  • Dr. Anita Kellogg, Assistant Professor, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy  
  • Caitlin Dearing Scott, Director, International Republican Institute  
  • Dr. Matthew Ferchen, Senior Research Scholar in Law and Senior Fellow, Yale Law School  

The second panel, Economic Statecraft and Social Responsibility, centered on the legal effects of trade, and the international structures that govern trade, as a means of promoting climate change and human rights initiatives. Professor Robert Percival, director of the Maryland Carey Law Environmental Law Program, moderated the discussion with panelists: 

  • Andrew Spalding, Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law  
  • David Wirth, Professor of Law, Boston College Law School  
  • Andrew Adams, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP  
  • Nathan Rickard, Partner, Picard Kentz & Rowe LLP  

The final panel on Economic Statecraft and Armed Conflict, looked at the use of sanctions during war, illustrated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Maryland Carey Law Professor Michael Van Alstine moderated the discussion with panelists: 

  • Christine Abely, Assistant Professor of Law, New England Law School  
  • Eric Karl Hontz, Director, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)  
  • Kathleen Claussen, Professor of Law, Georgetown Law School
  • Andrew Adams, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP  

The journal’s executive articles editor, Aliana Carson, was pleased the symposium attracted scholars and practitioners from a range of professional backgrounds. 

“By having such a wide array of views on these issues, the symposium was able to touch on topics spanning various areas of both public and private law,” said Carson, “all of which helped to expand the intellectual conversations surrounding economic statecraft.”  

Scholarship by panelists, stemming from the symposium, will appear in the next issue of the Maryland Journal of International Law.