Kristen Hopewell is Canada Research Chair in Global Policy in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia. Her research specializes in international trade, global governance, industrial policy and development, with a focus on emerging powers.
Dr. Hopewell is the author of Clash of Powers: US-China Rivalry in Global Trade Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and Breaking the WTO: How Emerging Powers Disrupted the Neoliberal Project (Stanford University Press, 2016).
Her academic research has appeared in journals such as Review of International Political Economy, Regulation & Governance, International Affairs, Global Environmental Politics and New Political Economy.
Her policy writings have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, South China Morning Post, The Globe and Mail and Global Policy, and her analysis has featured in venues such as the BBC, CNN, CGTN, Bloomberg, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, The Chicago Tribune, East Asia Forum, The Indian Express, Latin America Advisor and Foreign Policy.
Dr. Hopewell’s research has been supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, a UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Future Research Leaders Grant, the UK Global Research Challenges Fund, US National Science Foundation (NSF), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
Prior to entering academia, she worked as a trade official for the Canadian government and as an investment banker for Morgan Stanley.
My research focuses on the politics and governance of international trade, including related issues of international development and industrial policy.
Emerging Powers in Global Trade Governance: A central strand of my research examines how contemporary power shifts – the rise of new powers from the developing world, such as Brazil, India and China, who are challenging the longstanding dominance of the US and other advanced-industrialized states – are reshaping global trade governance. What are the agendas and intentions of the rising powers – are they system-supporters or challengers? Can international cooperation continue amid shifting power? Do rising powers ally to challenge the traditional dominance of the Global North, or are their interests too diverse to form effective alliances? What impact is the rise of these new powers having on the rest of the developing world? My research has addressed these and other questions about the rise and impact of emerging powers on global trade governance, with a focus on the World Trade Organization (WTO), through a series of publications, including Breaking the WTO: How Emerging Powers Disrupted the Neoliberal Project (Stanford University Press, 2016).
US-China Trade Relations: My most recent research has concentrated on conflict between the US and China over global trade. My book, Clash of Powers: US-China Rivalry in Global Trade Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2020), challenges the conventional wisdom that the US maintains its dominance in the international system and that China lacks sufficient power to pose a real threat to US hegemony. Drawing on five cases, I argue that the rise of China has sharply constrained the exercise of US power in global economic institutions. Even though China’s economic and overall power capabilities remain considerably smaller than those of the US, China’s ascent has significantly weakened American control over the governing institutions of the trading system and its power to write the rules of global trade. Amid the rise of China, I show that the US’s ability to direct and steer global trade governance – which until now has been a distinct and defining feature of its hegemony – has been severely diminished. The US and China are engaged in a pitched battle to set the rules of global economic competition; each wants its own interests and preferences to be inscribed in the institutions and laws governing global trade. The confrontation between these two dominant powers has paralyzed global trade governance and rulemaking.
The Role of the State in the Economy: Another strand of my research is centrally concerned with the relationship between the state and the market; the role of the state in fostering economic development, competitiveness and innovation; and how global trade rules constrain or enable industrial policy and development policy. My research in this area has examined the role of state-led innovation policy in driving agricultural development; how economic development transforms state-business relations; and the impact of free-market ideology on American industrial policy.
Global Civil Society and the WTO: A further strand of my research has contributed to our understanding of the role of civil society in global governance, by drawing on the case of the WTO. The 1999 Seattle WTO protests, which are credited with sparking the anti-globalization movement, generated significant scholarly interest in global civil society and its capacity to act as a transformative force in global economic governance. My research has analyzed barriers to civil society engagement with multilateral economic institutions, as well as how transnational advocacy organizations have been transformed through their interaction with the WTO.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2020. Clash of Powers: US-China Rivalry in Global Trade Governance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2016. Breaking the WTO: How Emerging Powers Disrupted the Neoliberal Project. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Hopewell, Kristen. Forthcoming. “Strategic Narratives in Global Trade Politics: American Hegemony, Free Trade and the Hidden Hand of the State.” Chinese Journal of International Politics.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2020. “Trump & Trade: The Crisis in the Multilateral Trading System.” New Political Economy.
Quark, Amy, Kristen Hopewell, and Elias Alsbergas. 2020. “Inter-State Competition and Transnational Capitalists across the North-South Divide: Different Strategies, New Configurations of Power.” Social Problems.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2019. “Power Transitions and Global Trade Governance: The Impact of a Rising China on the Export Credit Regime.” Regulation & Governance. Early View.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2019. “US-China Conflict in Global Trade Governance: The New Politics of Agricultural Subsidies at the WTO.” Review of International Political Economy 26(2): 207-231.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2019. “How Rising Powers Create Governance Gaps: The Case of Export Credit and the Environment.” Global Environmental Politics 19(1): 34-52.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2018. “Recalcitrant Spoiler? Contesting Dominant Accounts of India’s Role in Global Trade Governance.” Third World Quarterly 39(3): 577-593.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2017. “The BRICS – Merely a Fable? Emerging Power Alliances in Global Trade Governance.” International Affairs 93(6): 1377-96.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2017. “When Market Fundamentalism and Industrial Policy Collide: The Tea Party and the US Export-Import Bank.” Review of International Political Economy 24(4): 569-598.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2017. “The Liberal International Economic Order on the Brink.” Current History 116(793): 303-08.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2017. “Invisible Barricades: Civil Society and the Discourse of the WTO.” Globalizations 41(1): 51-65.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2016. “The Accidental Agro-Power: Constructing Comparative Advantage in Brazil.” New Political Economy 21(6): 536-554.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2015. “Multilateral Trade Governance as Social Field: Global Civil Society and the WTO.” Review of International Political Economy. 22(6): 1128-58.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2015. “Different Paths to Power: The Rise of Brazil, India and China at the WTO.” Review of International Political Economy. 22(2): 311-338.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2014. “The Transformation of State-Business Relations in an Emerging Economy: The Case of Brazilian Agribusiness.” Critical Perspectives on International Business 10(4): 291-309. (Special issue on Brazilian corporations and the state.)
Hopewell, Kristen. 2013. “New Protagonists in Global Economic Governance: Brazilian Agribusiness at the WTO.” New Political Economy 18(4): 602-623.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2020. “Ideology, Economic Interests and American Exceptionalism: The Case of Export Credit,” in Singh, J. P., ed. Cultural Values in Political Economy. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2017. “A Changing Role for Agriculture in Global Political Economy? Brazil’s Rise as an Agro-Power,” in Margulis, M. E., ed. The Global Political Economy of Raúl Prebisch. Routledge RIPE Series in Global Political Economy. New York, Routledge: 155-71.
Hopewell, Kristen. 2009. “The Technocratization of Protest: Transnational Advocacy Organizations and the WTO,” in Fastenfest, D., ed. Engaging Social Justice: Critical Studies of 21st Century Social Transformation. Leiden, Brill: 161-180.
Selected Policy Writings
“15 countries just signed the world’s largest trade pact. The US isn’t one of them.” The Washington Post, November 2020.
“China has a golden opportunity to show global leadership, with a WTO fisheries deal.” South China Morning Post, October 2020.
“Why trade restrictions must be eliminated during COVID-19’s second wave.” The Conversation, October 2020. Co-authored with MPPGA student Joshua Tafel.
“Canada must boost its foreign aid to combat a COVID-19 humanitarian crisis.” The Globe and Mail, May 2020.
“Can a new leader revitalize the World Trade Organization?” Latin America Advisor. Inter-American Dialogue, Washington, DC, May 2020.
“The WTO just ruled against China’s agricultural subsidies. Will this translate to a big U.S. win?” The Washington Post, March 2019.
“What is ‘Made in China 2025’ — and why is it a threat to Trump’s trade goals?” The Washington Post, May 2018.
“Why the US Needs the ExIm Bank,” Foreign Affairs, August 2017.
“Reshaping World Trade: The Export Finance of the Emerging Economies,” Commentary, Emerging Global Governance Series, Global Policy, December 2016.
“Rising Powers and the Collapse of the Doha Round,” UN World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) Blog, October 2016.
- Canada Research Chair, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), 2020-2025
- SSHRC Explore – Faculty of Arts Research Grant, 2020
- SSHRC Exchange Arts International Conference Travel Grant, 2020
- Future Research Leader Grant, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), 2016-2019
- Institute for Academic Development, Research Network Grant, 2018
- Global Research Challenges Fund (GRCF) Grant, UK Funding Councils, 2017
- Distinguished Book Award, Political Economy of the World System, American Sociological Association, 2017
- Best Scholarly Book Award, Honorable Mention, Global and Transnational Sociology, American Sociological Association, 2017
- Strategic Research Development Grant, University of Edinburgh, 2015, 2016
- Outstanding Paper Award, Critical Perspectives on International Business, 2015
- Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Connections Grant, Collaborator, 2013
- German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Research Fellowship, Max Planck Institute, 2012
- Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) Global Division Paper Award, 2012
- New Political Economy Paper Prize, 2011/12
- World Trade Organization (WTO) Chairs Paper Award, 2nd Prize, 2011
- Rackham Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2011
- Alfredo Gutiérrez Dissertation Award, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 2011
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, 2009
- National Science Foundation (NSF) East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute Fellowship, 2009
- Fulbright Fellowship, 2008
- Summer Fellowship, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas-Austin, 2008
- Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) Paper Prize, 2007
- Nonprofit and Public Management Center Doctoral Research Award, 2007
- Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship, 2006
- Regent’s Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2005