Emerging Economies, International Order and International Law: Continuities, Changes and Challenges

Professor Uche Ewelukwa Ofodile, School of Law, University of Arkansas, will give a keynote address at the conference Asia and Africa in Transition on 28 June, 18:00-19:00 (CEST).


The world order is undergoing a fundamental transformation both in terms of who are the influential players and in terms of what governance norms should underpin this order. Countries in Africa and Asia are also going through serious and sustained changes of their own. Some of the most remarkable changes in Asia and Africa in the past decade include the phenomenal development of national economies, increased regional integration, the rise of emerging market multinational companies, and the deepening of Asia-Africa economic relations. Against the backdrop of worrying food and nutrition insecurity in Asia and Africa and with a focus on two fields of law – International Investment Law and ‘Business and Human Rights’ – I hope to look at what the transitions in Asia and Africa mean for international order and international law. More than anything, my presentation raises important questions that should be asked about encounters between emerging economies and international law and the quality and health of South-South economic relations. For example, what is the role of law, including international law, in South-South economic relations? In their economic relations, are emerging economies conforming to the norms and standards established by Western states or are they changing these norms in fundamental ways? How should countries in Africa and Asia respond to perceived normative and policy gaps in global governance? 


Professor Uché Ewelukwa Ofodile holds the E. J. Ball Endowed Chair at the University of Arkansas School of Law and is an Affiliated Professor, African and African American Studies, at the University of Arkansas’ J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. Her teaching, research, and scholarship focuses on international investment law, international trade law, intellectual property law, international dispute settlement, agriculture and food law, corporate social responsibility, as well as technology and the law.

Professor Ofodile is the author of two published monographs: Kenya-United States Free Trade Agreement: A Legal Analysis (2021) and Bilateral Treaty Reform and Regional Development: A Review of International Investment Agreements in East Africa (2020). She is currently working on two books, Legal Aspects of China-Africa Trade and Investment (forthcoming 2022, in Oxford University Press) and Business and Human Rights in Africa (forthcoming 2022, in Routledge).

Full conference programme can be found here

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