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International Law in an Era of Inequality: Redistribution from the Global South (LAW-DS-GLOSOU-23)


Department LAW
Course category LAW Short Seminar
Course type Seminar
Academic year 2023-2024
Credits 3 (EUI Law credits)
Contact Law Department administration,
  Course materials

11/01/2024 11:00-13:00 @ Sala degli Stemmi, Villa Salviati

18/01/2024 11:00-13:00 @ Sala degli Stemmi, Villa Salviati

25/01/2024 11:00-13:00 @ Sala del Consiglio, Villa Salviati

19/02/2024 11:00-13:00 @ Sala degli Stemmi, Villa Salviati

27/02/2024 9:00-11:00 @ Sala degli Stemmi, Villa Salviati


Inequality has swiftly entered public discourse as increasingly stark differences in wealth and income threaten the health of our democracies. But unlike domestic inequality, there is less policy discussions and little concerted international action to tackle global inequality, notwithstanding the enormous differences in wealth and resources between rich and poor nations. This seminar explores past and present international legal ideas and policy proposals to redistribute resources and burdens from North to South.

The international legal order does not recognize redistributive obligations between nations. States from the global north have consistently opposed the recognition of concrete duties of international cooperation, from opposition to the International Seabed Authority redistributing resources from seabed mining, to opposition against a tax on transnational financial transactions, against a Global Health Treaty pulling resources to finance R&D on neglected tropical diseases, and against North/South equity in climate change. We will study these and other examples and focus on controversies between North and South on the redistributive dimension of international regulation, like the clash between the ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ principle and individual pledges in climate change. We will finally study a number of redistributive initiatives from the Global South, from the 1970s New International Economic Order’s international commodity agreements, regarding coffee and sugar, to the obligation to transfer technology in the nuclear non-proliferation regime, to contemporary negotiations on marine genetic resources beyond national jurisdiction.

First, Second & Third Term: registration from 25 to 28 September

Register for this course

Page last updated on 05 September 2023

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