Institute for International Economic Policy

The IIEP Global Economic Governance in the 21st Century Initiative

In September 2011 IIEP launched a new signature initiative on global economic governance that will examine the role and evolving shape of international economic institutions in the 21st century. This initiative, made possible by the generous financial support of an anonymous donor, will build on existing IIEP research strengths and leverage its unparalleled location in the heart of international economic policy making in Washington DC. IIEP is emerging as one of the leading centers focused on economic governance in the increasingly integrated world economy.

This initiative reflects the need to rethink the role of organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, all of which trace their roots back to the immediate post-World War II period. The international economy is dramatically different now with the spread of globalization and the rise of emerging economies particularly China, India, and Brazil. These changes, among others, have led to calls for reform, and even fundamental rethinking, of the role of these institutions. Possible changes include: an increased role for emerging market countries in IMF decision-making; increased regulation of international financial markets; and a diminished role for the WTO as nations embrace regional and bilateral trade agreements and new trade institutions emerge.

IIEP already has an established record of research on these issues since its founding in 2007. IIEP has partnered with both the IMF and the World Bank for research conferences and its relationship with these and other organizations such as the WTO and Inter-American Development Bank are active and growing.

This new initiative will consolidate and strengthen these efforts through academic research, policy forums and full-day conferences.


IIEP and Navigating U.S. Trade Policy

The U.S. government formulates and administers trade policy through a complex network of agencies and organizations, engagement with the private sector, and close observation of today’s critical trade issues. While the process is interwoven and multifaceted, it is easier to classify through three types of bodies: Congress, the President and the Executive Branch, and independent agencies.

Over the past couple of years, IIEP has been partnering with the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) to produce training seminars focused on the particular intricacies of operating in the U.S. trade market. These seminars are held annually in DC and are open to the public. IIEP and WITA will also be offering a seminar this May in Guatemala.

The following documents used in the seminars provide a preliminary overview into how the U.S. exercises trade policy and which federal agencies are involved:


Introduction to U.S. Trade Policy

The Role of Congress

USTR and the President

Select Cabinet-Level Agencies

Independent Agencies




Project on Trade and Internet Governance

The Project on Trade Agreements and Internet Governance (TAIG) examines how the U.S., EU, and Canada use trade agreements to govern the Internet and to advance Internet freedom/stability.

On Dec. 6 2012, the Trade and Internet Governance Project sponsored a conference on trade human rights and internet governance. Panelists from the US, EU and Canada, representing business, civil society, and government examine if trade policies can advance Internet freedom. Andrew Maclaughlin, former Director of Global Public policy at Google and Deputy Chief Technology Office of the US, gave the keynote speech. The conference closed with a discussion of the project findings by Susan Ariel Aaronson and Hosuk Lee Makiyama of ECIPE, Brussels.

International Finance Forum

The International Finance Forum is a venue for top researchers and policymakers in the field of international macroeconomics and finance to share new research and their views on the global economy.


Charles Engel (November 2012): Charles Engel is a leading researcher in the field of International Macroeconomics and is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin. He has published extensively on topics ranging from the relationship between interest rates and exchange rates, exchange rate determination and real exchange rate movements. He is also the editor of the Journal of International Economics.

Olivier Blanchard (March 2013): Olvier Blanchard is the Director of the Research Department and Economic Counsellor at the IMF. He is on leave from the Economics Department of MIT. Blanchard is one of the leading Macroeconomists in the world with important contributions in both theory and empirical literatures. He has also written some of the leading textbooks in Macroeconomics.

Maurice Obstfeld (March 2013): Maury Obstfeld is one of the leading researchers in international Macroeconomics and is a Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He has made important contributions to Economics on a wide range of topics including exchange rate crises, current account determinants, new open economy macroeconomic theory, and many other topics. He is also the co-author of the leading undergraduate and graduate international macroeconomics text book.


Who is Bashing Whom? China, Cyber-attack, Democracy, and Retaliation
Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

On January 31, The New York Times, America's paper of record, made front page news. Several months after it published several articles delineating the financial holdings of the families of Chinese leaders, the Times reported that the Chinese military had hacked into its computers, inserted malware and stolen its employees' e-mail account passwords. Soon thereafter, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Voice of America and other media outlets publicly alleged that Chinese citizens also attacked their computers.

This free lunch event, organized by the Trade and Internet Governance Project of GWU, and the Minerva Initiative of the Department of Defense, examined the hacking from several different perspectives: cyber-security, economics, trade, human rights, and global governance.

Known-Knowns and Unknowns about the Internet: Measuring the Economic, Social, and Governance Impact of the Web November 14-15, 2013

Organizers: Dr. Susan Aaronson, GWU and Karin Alexander, Web Foundation

Conference Summary: Policymakers and netizens alike make broad claims about the effects of the internet upon economic growth, business, democracy, governance, and human rights. In recent years, economists have made significant progress in estimating the impact of the internet on areas such as economic growth, trade, fiscal policy, and education. But the progress made by economists has not been matched by scholars, activists, executives, and policymakers who seek to understand the internet's effects on governance, cyber security, and on human rights. We don't know if the Internet has stimulated development or whether the internet has led to measurable governance improvements. Moreover, scholars and activists don't yet know how to effectively measure Internet openness. We also weighed the evidence that the Internet is splintering. With this conference, we hoped to encourage greater understanding of metrics to assess our new digital age.

Upcoming Events

September 23 Tuesday
International Trade and Development Workshop
Chris Udry (Yale)
» 12:30 PM- 2:00 PM

October 7 Tuesday
International Trade and Development Workshop
David McKenzie (World Bank)
» 12:30 PM- 2:00 PM

October 14 Tuesday
International Trade and Development Workshop
Quamrul Ashraf (Williams)
» 12:30 PM- 2:00 PM

October 29 Tuesday
International Trade and Development Workshop
Monica Singhal (Harvard Kennedy School)
» 12:30 PM- 2:00 PM

Please contact for more information.