Module 1 will examine the historical development of economic regulation, chiefly the phase starting from the end of XIX century. Particular attention will be devoted to the new role of private law sources within the frame of economic regulation and to the emergence of a new “lex mercatoria”.
Module 2 will first focus the main characteristics of public regulation in the present phase of globalization, particularly: a) the necessity to justify regulation; b) the reduction of discretionary powers; c) the impact of antitrust regulation on the general frame of economic regulation; d) the emergence of a global economic law.
As for competition, the main features of antitrust law will be considered, chiefly: a) cartel prohibition; b) prohibition of monopoly and abuse of dominant position; c) prohibition of takeovers and mergers limiting competition; d) differences between antitrust systems (USA and Europe); e) the emergence of antitrust law in countries traditionally not familiar with the model of market economy (such as China); f) attempts to harmonize the antitrust discipline at global level.
Module 3 will deal with: a) global liberalization of goods and services; b) the actual means adopted by the European Union to reduce barriers to trade; c) the free trade regime adopted by the World Trade Organization (WTO); d) restrictions to free trade to protect relevant public interests (eg., protection of human health or environment).
Module 4 will deal with the private and public contractual tools which contribute to global economic regulation. Particular attention will be paid to: a) the tendency towards a common European contract law and an European civil code (Common frame reference); b) the diffusion of transnational contracts (e.g., in the financial and commercial sectors) and the emergence of a new lex mercatoria; c) the international and European regulation of public procurement.
Module 5 will investigate the main characteristics of financial markets regulation in the age of globalization. Standards and non-binding practices will be analyzed, mainly the instructions issued by: a) the Basel Committee; b) the International Monetary Fund (IMF); c) the World Bank; e) the European Union. Particular attention will be paid to the causes and effects of the present global financial crisis through the examination of the proposals and remedies of the Financial Stability Board and of the European Union.
Module 6 will analyze: a) the liberalization of the electronic communications sector, which has limited monopolies worldwide and has led to the privatization of public enterprises; b) the role of national and supranational regulatory authorities; c) the impact of the opening of the Electronic Communications Market on customers in terms of reduction of prices and better quality of the products; d) the so called “technological convergence” and the necessity of a horizontal regulation covering all the networks and services of electronic communications; e) “neutrality” of the network.
Module 7 will focus on: a) the process of liberalization which has interested the sector of electricity and gas, with specific attention to the recent adoption of the so-called “third energy package”; b) the role of Energy Regulatory Authorities; c) the relationship between energy regulation and environmental regulation, with special reference to global warming; d) policies and legal tools adopted by public powers to tackle the main environmental risks (see Clean Air Act of 1970; Kyoto Protocol; Action Plan for Energy Efficiency of the EU Commission COM(2006); the new rules after Copenhagen Conference).
Module 8 will analyze the “global governance” for the regulation of the food sector, particularly: a) protection and guarantees accorded to “global consumers”; b) food security; c) food safety; d) the relationship between the international free movement of food products and local traditions and cultures.
Module 9 will analyze the fundamental issue of the relationship between ethics and economics, stressing the necessity to adopt an anthropological approach which considers economic facts from an ethic viewpoint (business ethic). The following topics will be dealt with: a) Who will guard the guards?; b) the relationship between politics and administration; c) the relationship between politics and enterprises (with specific attention to the problem of the institutional independence and the conflict of interests); d) the relationship between politics and interest groups (through the analysis of lobbying activities); e) prevention of corruption.