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Upcoming Events

Ruling the Global Economy: Why is Money So Different from Trade? @ Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia
Jan 24 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Lecture by Prof. Karen J. Alter

The remarkable growth of international trade in goods and services over the past four decades was accompanied by another transformation: the development of increasingly specific legalised international agreements. The WTO and its Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) is often pointed to as the apotheosis of the trend toward “harder” legalisation of international arrangements in the realm of trade. The governance of the international monetary system, by contrast, became less legalised; international monetary agreements today are mostly ad hoc, non-binding “pledges” rather than deep contracts with strong obligations. This difference is puzzling because the two issues are inherently linked: gains won in trade negotiations can be undercut by currency devaluations, and currency manipulation is a widely acknowledged problem.

What explains the divergent legalisation trajectories in the governance of the international trade and monetary systems? The paper presented presented in this lecture —the theory chapter of an in-progress book— defines key concepts and develops an international legalisation benchmark for studying the divergent trends in regulating global trade and money. Our larger objective is to understand when and why states decide to create binding and enforceable global economic rules that apply differentially to some states but not others. The paper also explain the book’s mode of investigation which divides our analysis of legalisation choices into historical periods, so that we can investigate why long discussed proposals become newly interesting, and how major structural changes – the proliferation of new states in the wake of decolonisation, the rise of newly industrialised economies, the relative decline of American economic and political dominance, and the advent of financial globalisation – have influenced the processes of international legalisation in the trade and monetary realms.


Digital Dictatorship or Digital Republic? Law and Ethics of China’s Social Credit System @ Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia
Jan 30 all-day

Scientific Organisers: Wessel Reijers | EUI and  Liav Orgad | EUI, IDC, WZB

China’s effort to build and implement its so-called Social Credit System (SCS) offers a fascinating case of a technological ecosystem designed for social control. Driven by public-private partnerships, it combines public policy and law making with data-driven solutions to monitor and control citizens’ actions and identities. Underlying systems such as the SCS are notions of ‘good citizens’, the type of citizen that optimally contributes to a flourishing political community, and of ‘civic virtues’, the state of character that contributes to a desirable kind of civic life.

The workshop will examine China’s emerging SCS from different disciplines: political theory, social science, legal jurisprudence, and moral philosophy. It aims at improving our understanding of the system—examining its functions, goals, and feasibility—investigating the ethics of the social credit system, and exploring its legal implications and the regulatory regimes that should govern it.

The event is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Grant No. 716350).


Register here

The Power to Expel: Deportation and Denationalisation in Historical, Comparative and Normative Perspective @ Cappella, Villa Schifanoia
Feb 20 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

In the late 20th century, academic and policy debates have asked how open European and American immigration states should be for admission to the territory and citizenship. In the 21st century, the focus is often on how to undo immigration through deportation and citizenship deprivation. Our workshop will discuss the new trends of deportation and denationalisation from historical, legal and comparative perspectives. It will also raise the question of whether liberal democracies should have the power to expel immigrants and citizens and under which constraints they can legitimately exercise this power. Finally, we want to connect the two topics by considering whether citizenship status is still, or should be, a firm protection against deportation and whether the right not to be deported should be grounded in domicile rather than citizenship.

Programme available here.

Services, Trade and the UN Sustainable Development Goals: which policies matters most? @ Cappella, Villa Schifanoia
Mar 4 – Mar 6 all-day

Academy of Global Governance (in collaboration with the School of Transnational Governance)


Scientific Coordinators:
Ben Shepherd | Developing Trade Consultants
Bernard Hoekman | European University Institute


Cappella, Villa Schifanoia, Via Boccaccio 121 – Florence

4 – 6 MARCH 2019


The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) frame the actions of development partners—donors, beneficiaries, international organizations, and civil society—over the 2030 time horizon. The SDGs are wide ranging, and overlap in many areas with international trade and investment. Businesses with international activities, as well as international organizations and research institutes, are in a position to take positive actions to help move the development agenda forward. But to do so, they need to be informed on the content of the SDGs, and leaders need to think creatively about how their organizations can contribute—an area in which the UN framework provides little concrete guidance.
The purpose of this Executive Training is to introduce participants to the SDGs framework, with the aim of provoking discussion as to the ways in which business, international organizations, and researchers can participate in promoting progress. The emphasis will be on the services dimension, especially trade and investment linkages across countries and policy reforms that can support improved access to vital services for people in low and middle income countries. The course will assemble experts from around the world to discuss the many ways in which services and policy can contribute to the SDGs, and also to address issues—particularly performance measurement and attribution—where the goals themselves remain vague. Participants will leave better informed on:
• The policy framework governing international development efforts through 2030.
• The ways in which business, international organizations, and researchers can contribute to progress.
• The issues that confront policymakers and civil society in seeking to develop concrete actions and timetables to move forward on sustainable development.
• The data and quantitative measures available to track performance and inform decision-making.
• The role of services in supporting key development objectives.


Draft programme (as of 17_01_2019)

Application form (open until 17 February 2019)




Martina Ferracane | European Centre for International Political Economy, Belgium
Matteo Fiorini | European University Institute, Italy
Matthias Helble | Asian Development Bank, Philippines
Bernard Hoekman | European University Institute, Italy
Justine Lan | World Trade Organisation, Switzerland
Patrick Low | University of Hong Kong, China
Ben Shepherd | Development Trade Consultants, United States



Executive Training Seminars at the Academy of Global Governance are free of charge. Participants are expected, however, to bear the costs of their travel and accommodation themselves. In order to apply for participation, please fill in the application form before 17 February 2019.

For applicants from the LDCs (as defined by the United Nations) there is a limited number of merit-based scholarships available. Please include a motivation letter in your application. Deadline for scholarship requests: 3 February 2019.

Cultural Pluralism in Cities of the Global South Conference @ Villa Schifanoia
Mar 21 – Mar 23 all-day

Convenors: Prof. Anna Triandafyllidou, European University Institute, Florence, Italy | Prof. Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College, Boston, USA | Dr. Jeremie Molho, EUI | Dr. Nick Dines, EUI


This upcoming conference focuses on cities that are emerging (or striving to emerge) as regional centres of power in the ‘global South.’ We focus on major urban centres in Asian, African, and Latin American countries at different stages of the nation building process. We ask what terms like ‘urban’, ‘diversity’, and ‘cultural pluralism’, actually mean in these contexts. We do so by adopting a critical approach that questions official discourse, documents and policy programmes and compares them to how relevant stakeholders understand the ‘city’, the ‘nation’, and ‘the global’.  We want to unpack the power relations within the city and the ways in which the city projects itself beyond the national scale and positions itself both at a wider regional level and within global cultural hierarchies.


Register here



Cultural Diplomacy: What role for Cities and Civil Society Actors? @ Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia
May 21 all-day

Organisers : Yudhishthir Raj Isar | American University of Paris and Anna Triandafyllidou | European University Institute

Cultural diplomacy as discourse and practice looms large today in both cultural policy studies and international relations. In effect, the term cultural diplomacy is very widely used, so much so that it has become a floating signifier, commonly deployed by foreign policy establishments and the arts and culture sector alike. Many of the ways in which the term itself is used go well beyond its original meaning, namely the processes that occur when formal diplomats, operating at the service and in the name of their governments, use cultural resources to help advance national interests. Earlier, analysts made a distinction between such governmentally driven cultural practice and the far less instrumental processes of international cultural relations, which are still based on flows of cultural exchange that take place naturally and organically, without government intervention. While ever increasing numbers of political scientists and cultural analysts are researching cultural diplomacy, their attention is directed mainly at phenomena and processes taking place at the governmental level, between and among nation-states. This form of ‘methodological nationalism’ has led to two major lacunae, both of which merit further debate and further research. The first of these is that there is very little direct analysis of the motivations, values and efforts of civil society actors in the field. The second is the relative absence of research on how cities are now practicing international cultural relations and diplomacy among themselves – and they are often doing this via the agency of civil society actors. The intention of this workshop is to begin to fill both of these gaps. It will do so through panel discussions on the following two topics: Civil Society Actors in Cultural Diplomacy and Cities as Cultural Diplomacy Actors.


Register here