Professor David Kennedy

David Kennedy is Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School where he teaches international law, international economic policy, legal theory, law and development, and European law. He joined the Harvard Law faculty in 1981 and holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a J.D. from Harvard. He is the author of numerous articles on international law and global governance. His research uses interdisciplinary materials from sociology and social theory, economics, and history to explore issues of global governance, development policy, and the nature of professional expertise. He has been particularly committed to developing new voices from the third world and among women in international affairs.

As a practicing lawyer and consultant, Professor Kennedy has worked on numerous international projects, both commercial and public, including work with PricewaterhouseCoopers with their emerging markets and anti-corruption practice, with the United Nations, the Commission of the European Union, the Qatar Foundation, and with the private firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton in Brussels, where his work combined European antitrust litigation, government relations advising and general corporate law. A member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, he is past Chair and Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Global Governance. In 2011, he was appointed Foreign Advisor to Thailand’s Truth for Reconciliation Commission and now serves as a member of the Asian Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

David Kennedy

At Harvard, he served as Chair of the Graduate Committee and Faculty Director of International Legal Studies. He founded the European Law Research Center at Harvard in 1991 and served continuously as its Faculty Director. He has advised a number of educational institutions on their academic programs and lectured as a Visiting Professor at numerous universities across the world. In 2008-2009, he served as Vice President for International Affairs, University Professor of Law, and David and Marianna Fisher University Professor of International Relations at Brown University.

David Kennedy’s Work

Curriculum Vitae

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

  • Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, 2003-2007; 2008-2009; since 2011;
  • Director, Institute for Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School, since 2009;
  • Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, 1986-1994, 2009-10; Assistant Professor, 1983-1986; Lecturer, 1981-1983;
  • Director, European Law Research Center, 1991-2009;
  • Faculty Director, Graduate and International Legal Studies, 1991-1997;
  • Chair, Committee of Graduate Studies, 1990-1997;
  • Henry J. Shattuck Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, 1994-2003;

Courses: International Law, Global Law and Policy, Law and Economic Development, European Union Law, International Economic Law, American Legal Thought

  • Visiting Professor, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, since 2007.
  • Vice President for International Affairs, University Professor of Law and David and Marianna Fisher University Professor of International Relations, Brown University, 2008-2009.
  • Visiting Professor, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Fall 2006
  • Visiting Professor, New York University Law School, Spring 1999;

Courses: Foreign Relations Law and International Law.

  • Of counsel, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, Brussels, Belgium, 1989-1990. General corporate, European Communities and government relations practice.
  • Consultant for various projects involving international and European Community Law, including work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the European Communities Commission Legal Service, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Doctors Without Borders, the Thai Foreign Ministry, The Qatar Foundation, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

EDUCATION:

  • Juris Doctor, Honoris Causa, University of Helsinki, 2010.
  • Ph.D., Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 1984.

Fields: international law and organizations, international economics, law and development.

  • J.D., magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1980.
  • M.A.L.D., Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 1979.
  • A.B., with honors, Brown University, 1976.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP:

  • District of Columbia Bar, admitted 1980
  • Council on Foreign Relations, since 2003
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Sciences Po, Paris, France, since 2008
  • Member and past Chairman, World Economic Forum’s Advisory Council on Global Governance, since 2009
  • Member, Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council, since 2012
  • Member, International Advisory Board, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, American University in Cairo, since 2013

OVERSEAS EXPERIENCE AND LANGUAGES:

  • Visiting Professor, Sciences Po, 2011;
  • University of Paris X, Nanterre, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998, 2001-2002, 2005-2006;
  • University of Turin, 2001 and 2002;
  • Visiting Scholar, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 2000-2001;
  • Visiting Professor, Australian National University, 2000;
  • University of Paris II, 1998;
  • University of Toronto 1998 and 1999;
  • Fulbright Fellow, Belgium 1984;
  • Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung and Sheldon Fellow, Germany;
  • Fellow jointly at Institute for International Law, Kiel University and Institute for International Affairs, Hamburg University, Germany, 1980-1981.

German (reading and speaking);
French (reading and comprehension).

Subject Areas for Supervising Written Work

  • International Law
  • Legal Theory
  • Law and development
  • European Union law
  • Law and Political Economy
  • Global Law and Governance

COURSES

  • Knowledge as Power in Law and Science (Spring 2021)

    This course explores ways in which power makes and is exercised through knowledge. Governance, rulership, authority: each is undertaken by people doing things with ideas. Some of these people are experts or professionals: economists, lawyers, doctors, scientists, sociologists, historians, anthropologists, military strategists. Examining their practices opens a window on the ways knowledge shapes the contemporary world. In particular, many people rely on experts to define the basic coordinates by which they locate themselves and recognize one other, as members of collectives, actors in institutions, and selves possessing subjectivity. That these fundamental aspects of personal and social existence are difficult to understand today without the mediating role of expertise is one of the fundamental features of modernity. In this course, we seek particularly to explore how the law interacts with professional modes of expertise to produce our senses and sensibilities with regard to time, space, institutions, and identities.

    We will read and discuss literature from social theory, law, and science and technology studies which bears on these questions, alongside case studies of “expertise” in action in a variety of professional, scientific and lay settings.

  • Law and Political Economy? (2020-2021 Academic year)

    Around the world, questions of “political economy” are back on the agenda, arrangements long taken for granted open to question, often in the name of “inequality.” This two credit year long course will consider left liberal and more radical intellectual traditions for thinking about political economy and what law has to do with it. Along the way, we will contrast alternative ideas about how the great disparities in wealth, status and authority arise, are reproduced and might be reduced. Is “inequality” the right frame? Or something more like subordination, exploitation or expropriation? Is law primarily a reformer’s tool – or something more fundamental to the reproduction of hierarchies? What would it mean to rethink or remake the foundations for political and economic life, either nationally or globally?

  • Knowledge as Power in Law and Science (Spring 2020)

    This course explores ways in which power makes and is exercised through knowledge. Governance, rulership, authority: each is undertaken by people doing things with ideas. Some of these people are experts or professionals: economists, lawyers, doctors, scientists, sociologists, historians, anthropologists, military strategists. Examining their practices opens a window on the ways knowledge shapes the contemporary world. In particular, many people rely on experts to define the basic coordinates by which they locate themselves and recognize one other, as members of collectives, actors in institutions, and selves possessing subjectivity. That these fundamental aspects of personal and social existence are difficult to understand today without the mediating role of expertise is one of the fundamental features of modernity. In this course, we seek particularly to explore how the law interacts with professional modes of expertise to produce our senses and sensibilities with regard to time, space, institutions, and identities.

    We will read and discuss literature from social theory, law, and science and technology studies which bears on these questions, alongside case studies of “expertise” in action in a variety of professional, scientific and lay settings.

  • Approaches to Political Economy: Inequality or Subordination? (Spring 2020)

    Around the world, questions of political economy are back on the agenda, arrangements long taken for granted open to question, often in the name of inequality. Is inequality the issue? Or subordination? And what does law have to do with it? Is law just a reformers tool – or something more fundamental to the reproduction of hierarchies of wealth, authority, honor and shame? What would it mean to rethink or remake the foundations for political and economic life, either nationally or globally? This one credit course will consider contemporary liberal and radical analyses of political economy to explore the range of views about what is wrong, what to do about it – and how law matters.

  • Global Law and Governance (Fall 2020)

    This course explores law’s role in global affairs. We will examine the history of ideas, legal doctrines, institutional and administrative structures intended to organize and legalize international economic and political life. The readings will provide a common background for exploring and comparing efforts both to remake the world and re-imagine law. As we analyze our inheritance from that tradition, we will assess recent efforts to rethink law’s role in light of twenty-first-century political, economic, and cultural challenges.

  • Law and Economic Development (Fall 2020)

    This course will deal with past and present debates over the role of the legal order in economic development. We will explore the relationships among economic ideas, legal ideas and the development policies pursued at the national and international level in successive historical periods. We will focus on the potential for an alliance of heterogenous traditions from economics, law and other disciplines to understand development

  • 1L Reading Group: Global Law and Policy (Fall 2020)

    This group will analyze contemporary issues of global political economy to understand how legal ideas learned in the first year might be relevant. A British factory moves to Poland, a factory burns in Bangladesh: how does studying contracts, criminal law, property, torts, civil procedure and legislative process help us understand what’s going on in such stories? How much of the global legal landscape can we map using the intellectual tools of the first year? If you came to law school interested in international affairs, this reading group may help keep that flame alive in the core of first-year study.