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Reading Lab: Methodologies of International Law I – The 'Public', and the 'Private'

SW1.17 Somerset House East Wing
11/03/2015 (16:30-18:30)

The fourth session of the Transnational Reading Laboratory continues our investigation into methodologies and politics of International Legal Theory and embarks onto a longer investigation into the public-private distinction. Building on our sessions on Jessup, Koskenniemi, Orford, E.Posner & Goldsmith and Guzman, we are now considering the work by Richard Posner, Fleur Johns and Claire Cutler. 

At the centre of Posner’s and Johns’ essays, written in 1998 and 2007 respectively, is the battle over the ‘private’ or ‘public’ nature of an institution, a norm, or a set of regulations. For Posner, the focus is on contract and property law regimes in the context of post-conflict law making, while Johns investigates the private law assumptions that inform corporate law’s treatment of the transnational corporation. Claire Cutler, in her own right a longstanding, insightful critic of international and transnational legal thought and ideology, is best-known for her work on private ordering and international political economy. Preceding her 2003 magnum opus, Private Power and Global Authority (Cambridge UP, 2003 – compare the review essay in European Journal of International Law 2004, 197-215), is her much-cited essay in 1997, which we will discuss on 11 March.

Richard Posner, Creating a Legal Framework for Economic Development, 13:1 World Bank Research Observer, 1-11 (1998) Pdf here

Fleur Johns, Performing Power: The Deal, Corporate Rule, and the Constitution of the Global Legal Order, 34:1 Journal of Law and Society, 116-138 (2007). Pdf here

Claire Cutler, Artifice, ideology, and paradox: the public/private distinction in international law, 4:2 Review of International Political Economy, 261-285 (1997). Pdf here

There will be refreshments.

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