Digital Technologies and Trade Governance

Against the backdrop of the sweeping transformations brought about by digital technologies, the project has two distinct sets of objectives.

In a micro context, it seeks to offer a comprehensive package of recommendations for redesigning international trade regulation, in particular in the field of services, so that it can appropriately reflect the practical reality of doing trade in the internet age and accommodate future advances. The enquiries deal with the law of the WTO but account for the pertinent developments in preferential trade agreements (PTAs) and anticipate the legal engineering that unfold in the big trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreements.


In a macro context, the project considers the type of ‘messy’ digital governance that maps onto a highly diverse and fragmented world of legal relations. Under such circumstances, the sustainable provision of global public goods may be rendered difficult and it is the project’s objective to address the challenge of balancing economic interests of private actors and ensuring competitive markets against safeguarding public objectives, such as freedom of information. In this part of the project, we also seek to make good use of new governance theories and explore the case of transnational governance in the specific instance of the internet and internet-related regimes.