2024, Globalization and De-Globalization at the Nexus of Public and Private Law

Poster promoting the 2023 seminar Globalization and De-Globalization at the Nexus of Public and Private Law

Over the past decade, the benefits of globalization have been called into question. An international economic order based on specialization and trade has yielded dislocation alongside growth, vulnerability to global shocks alongside cosmopolitanism, and the political weaponization of interdependence alongside the supposedly pacifying virtues of doux commerce. One of the defining questions of our time is how to reclaim globalization for the benefit of all.

This seminar takes up one element of that challenge: understanding the legal foundations of the existing order, how they are changing, and what traditions reformers might draw on in search of alternatives. At the center of our investigation is the conventional narrative in which private law is the engine of globalization and public law the source of its limits and retrenchment. How does transnational private law conceive of borders, sovereignty, and the desirability of cross-border trade? And how does U.S. public law conceive of private transnational relationships as instruments of or threats to national sovereignty?

In exploring these questions, key topics of discussion will include trade deals, sanctions, international arbitration, the balance of payments, sovereign debt, export controls, foreign investment review, and the legacies of empire and of medieval merchant law. The seminar will bring together speakers from practice with scholars from law, economics, history, anthropology, and philosophy.

The 2024 Seminar is held Tuesdays from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. in Sterling Law Building Room 129. The seminar is open to the public via Zoom. Please register at this link if you would like to join for any of the speaker sessions. 



February 6

Capitalism and Globalization

Dani Rodrik – Harvard, John F. Kennedy School of Government

Branko Milanovic – CUNY Graduate Center, Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality

February 6 Readings

February 13

Zones Beyond the State

Emily Kadens – Northwestern, Law

Quinn Slobodian – Wellesley, History

February 13 Readings

February 20

Just Energy Transitions

Benjamin Bradlow – Princeton, Sociology

Gerald Torres – Yale, Law & School of the Environment

February 27

Trade and Investment Exceptions

Julian Arato – University of Michigan, Law

March 5

Weaponized Interdependence

Henry Farrell – Johns Hopkins, School of Advanced International Studies

Abraham Newman – Georgetown, School of Foreign Service & Dept. of Government

March 12

Debt and Global Finance

Anna Gelpern—Georgetown, Law

Brad Setser—Council on Foreign Relations

March 12 Readings

March 26

Policing Supply Chains

Kathleen Claussen—Georgetown, Law

April 2

Free Capital, Free Labor?

Chiara Cordelli—University of Chicago, Political Science

Sanjay Reddy—The New School, Economics

April 2 Readings

April 9

Sovereignty and Expropriation

Eric Helleiner—University of Waterloo, Political Science

Nicholas Mulder—Cornell, History

April 9 Readings

April 16

After Neoliberal Globalization

David Grewal—Berkeley, Law

April 16 Readings