The Changing Concept of National Security and the International Economic Law System

The Changing Concept of National Security and the International Economic Law System

26 oct. 2023

The Changing Concept of National Security and the International Economic Law System

ISDC (Lausanne) & Online (Zoom)

  • EN

The recent past has witnessed a growth in national security concerns. The debates about how to address national security have become both deeper and broader as risks having seemingly little to do with military capabilities are labeled “security” threats. From terrorist networks and organized crime to pandemics and climate change, the term “security” has been extended beyond clearly definable bounds. Human security and global security are by now commonly used and interlink with the multiple others. The reemergence of war on European soil and the growing tension in the Asian Pacific, however, offers good cause to look more carefully at what states need to ensure their existence as sovereign entities – that is, at core national security. It has also demonstrated the critical link between core national security and economic power.

This one-day conference takes up an inquiry into the changing views on the concept of national security as revealed in the international economic law system. Over the course of four sessions, it will investigate what governments characterize as “national security” issues, what economic measures they are taking to reduce national security threats, and how international trade and investment decisionmakers see such measures. Drawing on experts from Europe (including Switzerland) and the United States, the discussion will also address the fundamental balance-of-power question of who should decide what is an issue of national security. Finally, the speakers will consider how an expanding view of national security will impact states that are committed to maintaining neutrality.