In 2001-2002, Jacqueline Krikorian took up a traditional Fulbright student award to conduct research at Georgetown University Law Center. She is publishing her first book based in part on research that stemmed from her time as a Fulbrighter. Her book, International Trade Law and Domestic Policy, published by UBC Press, assesses the capacity of the binding trade dispute mechanism of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to influence domestic policy arrangements.
“The issue is significant because, to date, so many challenges have been successfully brought against Canada and the United States,” Dr. Krikorian said in an interview with Fulbright Canada. “In fact, between 2005 and May 2011, 55 of the 129 WTO disputes that were addressed and concluded involved challenges brought against these two countries.” Krikorian finds, however, that despite the significant number of losses, a number of factors ensure that the court-like body is not setting the national policy agenda. Rather, the domestic effect on Canada and the US has been relatively modest. She notes, however, the court-like body has taken a relatively aggressive stance toward American trade remedy measures and that going forward, this may well be the exception to her overall findings.
The book also considers how political scientists traditionally have approached the study of international law. “In the past, this subject area was dominated by international relations scholars,” Jacqueline said. “But if it is true that we are witnessing a new form of judicial review in the international arena, then law and politics scholarship that focuses on judicial review in the national arena may have a greater role to play in assessing international legal regimes like the WTO.”
Jacqueline’s interest in Canada-U.S. relations was peaked as an undergraduate student at Brock University. On the advice of one of her professors, Jacqueline participated in an international student exchange program, where she spent a semester studying at Reed College in Portland and volunteered part-time as an intern in now Senator Ron Wyden’s Portland office when he was still in the House of Representatives. Jacqueline went on to obtain master’s degrees at Dalhousie and Oxford. She then completed a law degree at Queen’s University. After being called to the bar in Ontario, Jacqueline’s thirst for knowledge and understanding led her to do a PhD at the University of Toronto. When Jacqueline learned about Fulbright from the University of Toronto’s Center for the Study of the United States, she knew that it would be an excellent opportunity for her to conduct research on the topic of U.S. interaction with the WTO.
“My time at Georgetown was invaluable to my research,” Jacqueline shared with Fulbright Canada. “I cannot underscore what a great opportunity it was for me. I met so many people with similar research interests and it really helped me gain insight into international trade. It also was wonderful to have the opportunity to visit so many historical sites in the Washington area. I could not have done the work I did if I had not had the opportunity to go there.”
Jacqueline Krikorian is an associate professor at York University, affiliated with both the Department of Political Science and the Department of Social Science. After the publication of her book, Jacqueline has turned her attention to NAFTA’s dispute settlement mechanisms. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of Jacqueline’s book, it may be purchased through the UBC Press and on amazon.com.