The first panel of the day (Panel 4), “States and stakeholders in the construction of an economic legal order” brought back the state to the center of the discussion. The panel was moderated by Penn State Law Professor Panagiotis Tridimas. Sukru Say (SJD Candidate, Penn State Law School) presented “Civil Society Organizations’ roles in Promoting the Transparency of International Trade Negotiation.” Jianzhi Zeng (Fulbright Visiting Researcher, Cornell University School of Law) presented “Globalization or Anti-globalization: The Right to Regulate in International Investment Law.” Aisi Zhang (SJD Candidate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ) presented “New Challenge: The Role of NGOs at the WTO” at this panel.
Sukuru Say and Aisi Zhang focused on global and national civil society and the roles they play in domestic and international stages in promoting the transparency of international trade negotiation and in international organizations. They both noted the extent of the challenge that is posed through civil society and the challenges that states and political organizations pose for the integrity and viability of a strong civil society presence in norm making and governance in trade related matters. Lastly Jianzhi Zeng sought to situate the traditional concepts of sovereignty within the otherwise contradictory trends of internationalization of authority for trade and investment. He insights around notions of “rights to regulate” may provide a useful means of working through the issues of the changing role of states within supra national constitutional orders.