About the IGLP

The Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) at Harvard Law School is a collaborative faculty effort to nurture innovative approaches to global policy in the face of a legal and institutional architecture manifestly ill-equipped to address our most urgent global challenges. Global poverty, conflict, injustice and inequality are also legal and institutional regimes. The IGLP explores the ways in which they are reproduced and what might be done in response. We aim to provide a platform at Harvard for new thinking about international legal and institutional arrangements, with particular emphasis on ideas and issues of importance to the global South. Professor David Kennedy serves as Institute Director.

Much about how we are governed at the global level remains a mystery. Scholars at the Institute are working to understand and map the levers of political, economic and legal authority in the world today. The Institute continues the tradition developed at Harvard’s European Law Research Center by focusing on young scholars and policy makers from the global South, who bring new ideas and perspectives to comparative and international legal research and policy. The IGLP aims to facilitate the emergence of a creative dialog among young experts from around the world, strengthening our capacity for innovation and cooperative research.

The Institute has built strong relationships with faculty at a wide range of foreign institutions, represented by the scholars who participate in our Advisory Councils. We provide a focal point at Harvard Law School for faculty and students interested in new thinking about issues of global governance and international affairs. Each year, we sponsor a variety of conferences, workshops and symposia, both in Cambridge and in collaboration with our friends abroad, most recently with the Qatar Foundation. We regularly host both scholars and policy practitioners as Visiting Researchers and Fellows at Harvard, deepening our collaborative network among those seeking new approaches to international law, political economy and economic development from governments, international institutions, the private sector and the non-governmental sector.

In June 2012, the Qatar Foundation became a leading sponsor of the IGLP and will support a broad ranging research and faculty development program at the Institute, including an intensive residential workshop in Qatar. The Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard University was a co-founder for the Institute and continues to play a crucial role as a Leading Sponsor for our efforts, along with Sovereign Bank, Santander Universities, Visa International, and the Garrigues law firm in Spain. We are deeply grateful their support, and for that of our friends and sponsors at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in Brussels.

Our programs and initiatives provide a focal point at Harvard Law School for new thinking in the fields of comparative law, global governance and international law. Each year we support a wide range of working formats that offer opportunities to students and faculty seeking new perspectives and alternative thinking about the global situation.

The Institute’s Working Formats include:

Research Projects - We support research through a number of multi-year projects spearheaded by our affiliated faculty and engaging scholars from across our network in collaborative discussion and research. Current research projects consider the legal structure of liquidity, the nature of money in a global economy and global financial regulation; expertise as a component in governance; the global genealogy of family law; economic development and the new developmental state; and heterodox approaches to global poverty reduction. We also regularly convened international research teams for an on‐site investigation of policy directions and experience, through site visits and discussions with policy makers, often followed by an academic conference reflecting a first cut on the findings of the research inquiry. In recent years, we have undertaken research missions in Thailand, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Russia and Europe.

Conferences & Workshops – The IGLP regularly sponsors conferences and workshops, ranging from informal events at the Harvard Faculty Club to large meetings convening over 100 scholars in Cambridge and Doha, Qatar for intensive discussion. Our most important annual events take place in January and June.

  • IGLP: The Workshop - Held in Doha, Qatar each January, the Workshop is an intensive residential program designed for doctoral and post-doctoral scholars and junior faculty. Sponsored and hosted by the Qatar Foundation, IGLP: The Workshop each year brings more than 100 young scholars and faculty from around the world for serious research collaboration and debate. While in residence in Doha, participants reviewed current scholarly developments, reconsidered canonical texts and network with colleagues from across the world. Our aim is to strengthen the next generation of scholars by placing them in collaboration with their global peers as they develop innovative ideas and alternative approaches to issues of global law, economic policy, social justice and governance. Intensive writing workshops offer participants the opportunity to receive valuable feedback on their own research from their peers and more senior colleagues in small group settings.
  • IGLP: The Conference - Every other year, commencing in 2013, we intend to convene scholars and friends working on innovative approaches to global governance, social justice and economic policy for two days of scholarly exchange. IGLP: The Conference will be held every other June at Harvard Law School and is open to all those who are interested in pursuing new thinking about law and global policy, including those who are new to our network as well as IGLP alumni and friends. Our aim is to provide an ongoing opportunity for scholars connected to the Institute to return to Cambridge to present their research, to reconnect with peers from across the globe, and to find new opportunities for collaborative research with other innovative scholars.
  • IGLP: The Colloquium - Each June, we convene an invitation only Colloquium at Harvard for IGLP Core Faculty, Docents and guests to strengthen our own work through intensive discussion and engagement with leading scholars from other disciplines. Each year’s Colloquium pursues a common theme across a range of research fields. In 2012, the Colloquium focused on the political economy of the modern global order. In 2013, we will focus on questions of method raised by the effort to think vertically about the relationship between global and local, macro and micro; and to think horizontally about comparison and differentiation among local or national arrangements. To explore these themes, we invite interesting intellectuals from a range of disciplines to join us in Cambridge.
  • IGLP: The Pro-Seminars - Pro-seminars are designed for small groups of scholars engaged in collaboration aimed towards publication. They bring together between ten and fifteen scholars, by invitation and application, working on a common topic. They typically meet in June at Harvard for one to three years to brainstorm their evolving scholarly writing and advance their work towards publication. Pro-seminars are typically convened by regular Harvard Law School or senior IGLP faculty.
  • Policy Roundtables - The IGLP periodically sponsors policy roundtables, ranging in duration from one to three days, concerning specific issues important to one or more of the IGLP’s constituencies, in which participants from industry, the practicing profession, government, and academia discuss topics of common interest in a relaxed setting. In recent years, we have held Policy Roundtables in China, Spain and Russia as well as Harvard on topics ranging from new approaches to regulation in developing economies to financial inclusion and new conceptions of international law.
  • Student-Led Workshops & Seminars - The IGLP supports activities organized and led by doctoral students and Visiting Researchers at the Law School. Students often prepare presentations based on their current research or invite smaller groups of students to informal discussions. These formats facilitate ongoing debate about a selection of themes of interest to both IGLP and students and scholars associated with our ongoing work. We regularly provide support for student groups at the school pursuing projects related to our research mandate.
  • Lectures & Informal Seminars - During the academic year, the IGLP sponsors a variety of lectures and informal seminars in which scholars share ongoing research in the areas of global law and policy. These events, which are generally open to all members of the Harvard community, aim to bring the best new thinking about global law and policy to the community for discussion and debate.

The Global Network - Over the last years, we have developed a large global network of scholars and policy makers who share our belief that ideas matter, and our commitment to new voices and viewpoints for thinking about global governance, social justice and economic policy. Our common goal is to better understand how power is exercised in the world today, and how original and critical thinking can transform the ways in which policy experts, intellectual leaders and citizens understand our common global situation. We support the network through our Website and social media platforms, encouraging IGLP affiliates to join our mailing list, participate in our various activities, and share their work, their syllabi and their ideas with one another.

Visiting Researchers Program – The IGLP supports an active program for Visiting Fellows, Researchers and Scholars. The IGLP appoints Visiting Fellows for a semester or an academic year. Fellows are usually funded by outside sources. Visiting Researchers and Scholars at the IGLP generally spend one semester in residence at the Harvard Law School, although appointments may range from one month to one year. All have access to the Harvard library and e-mail systems and, subject to instructor approval, may audit Law School classes on a non-credit basis.

Affiliates Program- This program connects Harvard Law School students working on matters of European law and policy with one another and with legal professionals. Our friends at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton generously integrate IGLP Student Affiliates into their European Union information system, and offer to connect students with members of the firm who are knowledgeable in the areas of law and legal practice in which the student is pursuing research.

Fellowship Program - The Fellowship Program offers full or partial student and post-doctoral fellowship support to a small number of scholars pursuing research in areas related to the IGLP’s ongoing work. The IGLP encourages the development of progressive and alternative ideas about international law, society and political economy by supporting original, provocative and challenging intellectual work that might not otherwise find support from mainstream institutional resources and which contributes to the emergence of new approaches to international law and global social justice.