Globalization and The Rule of Law

Catalog No.: 247

Course Description:

With the dramatic end to the Cold War almost a decade ago, the world’s attention has expanded to include concerns centered on politics and national security to the impact of global finance, trade and investment. A new concept has emerged in this period–globalization–which some argue is an accurate way to describe the massive changes underway in the international economy. Others disagree, arguing that the more things change the more they remain the same–that today’s issues among nations continue to reflect longstanding differences. The debate is not simply academic but goes to the heart of policy choices being made by millions of people in every region of the globe. The questions raised by globalization are particularly acute for those countries attempting to break away from older state-centered patterns of political and economic organization. From the former Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Union to many of the developing countries of Latin America, the Middle East and Asia efforts are underway to support new ways of doing business that look, on the surface at least, like American-style capitalism. But the legal institutions necessary to make this effort a success are, as yet, immature and underdeveloped. The risks and uncertainties that this process entails are complicated but represent an exciting challenge for legal scholars and policy makers. This seminar will discuss the major points of view in the globalization debate and explore the role that law plays in solving the problems raised by the new era. Each semester we concentrate on one particular issue- set of significance, such as corporate governance or international labor issues. Students will read both theory and examine case studies. Student-led discussion and research paper will be required. Limited enrollment. (2 units)