Call for Papers: Trade and the Environment – New Potentials, New Pitfalls?

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Projects & Initiatives
23 May 2017

The interplay between trade and the environment is one of the most puzzling institutional interactions at the international level. While one might wrongly presume that these two sets of institutions are in frequent opposition as each have adverse consequences for the other, they often seem to co-evolve in the international system with little open conflict or blatant legal incompatibility. Whereas there can indeed be tensions, numerous studies have documented the fact that norms that originate from trade institutions have transferred and diffused to environmental institutions and vice versa.

One result of this interplay is that environmental agreements increasingly recognize trade norms, while trade agreements increasingly include environmental norms. The rising number of bilateral and regional trade agreements entails progressively more environmental content but they also generate debate about their implications for environmental protection. At the same time, environmental agreements address trade issues ever more. For example, trade-related elements feature in many National Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Climate Agreement. What are the drivers of this development? And what are the implications?

In view of the increasingly interconnected relationship between trade and environmental policies and new datasets that map the latest developments and in light of heated controversies about the interlinkages between international trade and environmental protection, it is our pleasure to invite you to a workshop on “Trade and the Environment”.

We invite the submission of abstracts for papers that could, for example, address topics such as: environmental content in trade agreements; international trade, pollution and the use of resources; environmental regulation and competitiveness; carbon leakage and border tax adjustments; consumption-generated versus production-generated pollution.

Application and Deadline for Submissions

Please submit your abstract (max. 400 words; political science and IR, economics, political economy) to no later than May 23, 2017. We expect full draft papers, or shorter think pieces, to be circulated among participants three weeks prior to the workshop. Catering for all participants will be provided.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch:

  • Prof. Jean-Frédéric Morin, Université Laval              
  • Dr. Axel Berger (, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
  • Dr. Clara Brandi (, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)