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 focuses on young scholars and policy-makers from 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 global capacity for innovation and cooperative research.

The Institute is generously supported by our friends and sponsors. The Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard University was a co-founder of the Institute and continues to play a crucial role as a Sponsor for our efforts. We are deeply grateful for their support, and for that of our friends and sponsors at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in Brussels.

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. They 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. 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.

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. 

Our Working Formats include:

Research Projects
We support multi-year research projects spearheaded by our affiliated faculty which engage scholars from across our network in collaborative discussion and research. We also regularly convene 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. The IGLP Collaborative Research Grant Program is designed to provide modest funding to small groups of young scholars who are seeking to carry out substantive research on projects related to the core research mission of the IGLP.
IGLP: The Workshop
      The IGLP’s global Workshop brings over 100 doctoral, post-doctoral scholars, and junior faculty together with a core group of senior IGLP faculty from around the world for a unique series of lectures and intensive interdisciplinary debates. The Workshop seeks ways to deepen the network of collaboration among our Workshop Alumni as well as invigorate our core program with new participants and themes. At each workshop we also continue our effort to stimulate new thinking about the legal foundations of global monetary affairs, economic development policy, global political economy and the struggle for social, political and economic justice. In recent years, we have focused attention on comparative law as a constituent part of global policy and legal practice, on the potential to renew the Arab tradition of law and governance, and on the modern significance of the Islamic legal tradition.

While in residence, participants review current scholarly developments, reconsider canonical texts and network with colleagues from across the world. 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
      The Institute encourages academic collaboration among young scholars from across the world, aiming to support a 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. IGLP: The Conference is typically 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.

We expect many of the discussions at the Conference to continue thinking spawned in streams of investigation begun at our annual Workshops or in the Pro-Seminars we have sponsored.  They include: Comparative Legal Studies; the Corporation in Global Society; Human Rights and Social Justice; Global Science and Technology Studies; Law and Economic Development; International Economic Law and Regulation; Revitalizing Arab and Islamic Legal Traditions; Globalization and Labor; Legal Architecture of Monetary Integration; Private International as Global Governance; and Global Law and Political Economy.

IGLP: The Colloquium

We routinely convene a Colloquium at Harvard Law School for invited IGLP Core Faculty, Docents and guests to strengthen our own work through intensive discussion and engagement with leading scholars from other disciplines. Each 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 focused 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. The 2014 Colloquium explored the history and contemporary potential for heterodox and critical approaches to scholarly work in the social sciences. To explore these themes, we invite interested intellectuals from a range of disciplines to join us in Cambridge. The 2015 Colloquium included an interdisciplinary discussion and an advanced Writing Workshop for IGLP faculty and alumni. The theme of the 2016 Colloquium was “Transitions in Time, Space, and Power.” 

IGLP: The Pro-Seminars
      The IGLP periodically convenes Pro-Seminars designed for small groups of scholars engaged in collaboration aimed towards publication. IGLP Pro-Seminars typically meet in June and bring together between ten and fifteen active scholars, by invitation and application, working on a common topic. Pro-Seminars typically meet for 3-4 days at Harvard to brainstorm their evolving scholarly writing and advance their work towards publication.
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.

Affiliate Events

We regularly sponsor conferences, workshops, lectures, and seminars in collaboration with our global partners, affiliates, and friends at Harvard Law School and beyond. We aim to provide an institutional catalyst for affiliated scholars seeking to organize initiatives in their home institutions or at Harvard.

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.

Student-Led Workshops & Seminars

The IGLP supports activities organized and led by doctoral students and Visiting Researchers at Harvard 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.

Visiting Researchers and Scholars Program

The IGLP supports an active program for Visiting Researchers and Scholars. The IGLP appoints Visiting Fellows for a semester or an academic year. They are funded by outside sources. Visiting Researchers and Scholars generally spend one semester in residence at the Harvard Law School, although appointments may range from three months 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.

Fellowship Program
The Fellowship Program offers full or partial doctoral 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.