Event

The past, present, and potential of economic security

Date
12 Oct 2023
Time
11:30 UK time
Speakers
Mona Paulsen
Where
Manor Road Building, Seminar Room G, Manor Road OX1 3UQ
Series
IR Research Colloquium
Audience
Members of the University only
Booking
Not required
This project responds to industrial economies’ ever-frequent invocation of economic security to indefinitely justify activities that impair other states’ trade within the post-war global economic order. It makes two crucial contributions to the discourse. The first contribution is to disprove
contentions that Cold War-era trade institutions are no longer fit for purpose. I show why governments planned for supply security in the postwar global order through richly detailed archival research. I investigate the underexplored influence of the Korean War upon GATT contracting parties and reveal the importance of equitable distribution of strategic materials in what one US congressperson called a ‘super-government’ cartel. I redescribe the contingent character of these legal structures, showing the functions (and limits) of economic planning and military preparedness when governments and firms – fresh off the Second World War experience – demanded economic security and access to strategic supplies. The second contribution is normative – showing the potential to bring economic security strategies to existing WTO institutions. I develop a framework that dissects economic security into four categories and explain how governments can – and should – address security ambitions without abandoning coordination and collective goals for the future