Susan Ariel Aaronson
Research Professor of International Affairs
|Address:||Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW
Areas of Expertise
International trade and investment agreements; transparent trade policymaking; corruption and development; Internet governance; internet freedom; economic growth and human rights, global corporate social responsibility
Susan Ariel Aaronson is Research Professor of International Affairs and a Cross-Disciplinary Fellow at the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. She is currently the Carvalho Fellow at the Government Accountability Project and was the former Minerva Chair at the National War College. Aaronson’s research examines the relationship between economic change and human rights. She is currently directing projects on digital trade and digital rights, repression and civil conflict; trade, trust and transparency; and whistleblowers at international organizations such as the UN and WIPO. Her work has been funded by major international foundations including MacArthur, Ford, and Rockefeller; governments such as the Netherlands, U.S., and Canada; the UN, ILO, and World Bank, and U.S. corporations including Ford Motor and Levi Strauss. Dr. Aaronson is a frequent speaker on public understanding of globalization issues and international economic developments. She regularly comments on international economics on "Marketplace" and was a monthly commentator on "All Things Considered," "Marketplace," and "Morning Edition." She has also appeared on CNN, the BBC, and PBS to discuss trade and globalization issues. Aaronson was a Guest Scholar in Economics at the Brookings Institution (1995–1999); and a Research Fellow at the World Trade Institute 2008-2012.
Dr. Aaronson is a member of Working Group 2 of the Freedom Online Coalition (24 governments working on digital rights); the Advisory Board for Human Rights Under Pressure (a doctoral program funded by the German and Israeli government to teach human rights); and the Advisory Board of Business and Human Rights.org. Aaronson is also the Director of the eBay Policy Scholars and worked with Professor Esther Brimmer to develop a new international affairs curriculum on international Internet issues for GWU. In recent years, she has been a pro-bono advisor to the UN Special Representative on Transnational Corporations and Human Rights, and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. She has also consulted for the ILO; the World Bank; Free the Slaves; the Ford Foundation; the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative; the Progressive Policy Institute the Stanley Foundation; several corporations; and the governments of Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands, among others. In her spare time, Aaronson enjoys triathlons and ballet.
- Trade Agreements, Digital Rights and Internet Governance
- Repression, civil conflict and leadership tenure
- Whistleblowers and International Organizations
- Making Trade Policy More Transparent and Accountable
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Aaronson is the author of six books and numerous articles on trade, human rights, international investment; public private partnerships; globalization, corporate social responsibility; and public understanding of economic change. Her books include:
- Trade Imbalance: The Struggle to Weigh Human Rights in Trade Policymaking (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
- Taking Trade to the Streets: The Lost History of Public Efforts to Shape Globalization (University of Michigan Press, 2001)
- Trade and the American Dream: A Social History of Postwar Trade Policy (University Press of Kentucky, 1996)
Dr. Aaronson has also written two primers on trade: "Trade is Everybody's Business" for high school students and "Are there Trade Offs When Americans Trade?" for adults. These books relate trade to citizens' daily lives.
- "The Digital Trade Imbalance and Its Implications for Internet Governance." Global Commission on Internet Governance Paper Series.
- “Why Trade Agreements are not Setting Information Free: The Lost History and Reinvigorated Debate over Cross-Border Data Flows, Human Rights and National Security,” World Trade Review available on CJO2015. doi: 10.1017/S1474745615000014.
- With Rod Abouharb, “The Liberal Illusion is not a Complete Delusion: The WTO helps member states keep the peace only when it increases trade.”Global Economy Journal
- “Working by Design, New Ideas to Empower US and European Workers in TTIP” (.pdf)
- With Rod Abouharb, “Does the WTO Help Nations Improve Governance?,” World Trade Review 13, iss 3, (2014): 547-582. doi:10.1017/S1474745613000244.
- With Rod Abouharb, “Is More Trade Always Better? The WTO and Human Rights in Conflict Zones,” Journal of World Trade 47, no 5, (2013): 1091-1128.
HIST 6031 History of International Economic Systems: the WTO and the Bretton Woods Institutions
IAFF 6198 Special Topics in International Trade and Investment Policy
- Trade Issues and Strategies
- Digital Trade and Global Governance Issues
IAFF 6505 Corruption, Development and Good Governance