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 has built strong relationships with faculty at a wide range of foreign institutions, represented by the scholars who participate in our Advisory Councils. The IGLP provides 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.

A 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.


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.

Our Working Formats

The Global Scholars Academy is an intensive residential experience designed to enable junior faculty and post-doctoral scholars to engage in sustained, interdisciplinary, peer-to-peer collaboration under the close mentorship of research faculty drawn from the world’s top universities. The Academy is open by application to junior scholars working to understand and map the levers of political, economic, and legal authority in the world today. We particularly welcome applications from scholars from the Global South and those working on policy challenges of particular concern to communities in the Global South.

The IGLP supports an active program for Visiting Researchers and Scholars 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.

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.

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.

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.