In 2011 we sponsored 6 Pro-Seminars. Three of these groups will continue their collaboration through 2012, but are not accepting new participants. IGLP Pro-Seminars Launched in 2011 include:

  • Pro-Seminar 1: Transnational Social Policy and Labor Regulation: Crisis and Change
  • Pro-Seminar 2: Gender, Social Movements, Peace and Conflict
  • Pro-Seminar 3: The Center and Periphery in Global Law and Political Economy: Colonialism to Development
  • Pro-Seminar 4: Gender in Postcolonial Legal Orders
  • Pro-Seminar 5: Re-Theorizing Liquidity
  • Pro-Seminar 6: Renewing Latin American Legal Studies



Convener: Kerry Rittich
Labor market governance in an integrating economy has become a transnational, multilevel, and asymmetric affair involving a wide range of public and private actors. The effective ‘law of work’ now includes a wide range of rules and practices that range from private law and domestic/national regulation to formal international law and traverses fields as diverse as employment standards, social policy, and trade and financial regulation.

In the last 15 or 20 years, debates and regulatory interventions concerning labor markets have been dominated one the one hand by norms of labor market flexibility and ‘deregulation’ and on the other by expanded attention to worker’s basic rights, corporate codes, and other soft regulatory instruments. Yet as the still unfolding economic crisis reveals more and more linkages between labor markets, precarious work and both distributive justice and financial stability, it is clear that both as templates for thinking and as strategies of intervention, these approaches are inadequate. Both to analyze the workings of markets and the production of new forms of work and to respond to the predicaments of workers and firms, the field is ripe for reinvention and new angles of vision.

Working in comparative perspective, using a range of critical and analytic methods, and expanding the fields of inquiry, this pro-seminar will function as a forum in which to explore, integrate, and differentiate among the substantive and methodological questions and conundrums about labor market governance and social policy, both national and transnational. Pro-Seminar 1 continues its discussions but is not currently accepting new participants.



Conveners: Karen Engle, Karen Knop
This pro-seminar examines gender and social movements in international and transnational contexts, dating from the women’s suffrage and peace movements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries through contemporary feminist interventions in international criminal law and post-conflict resolution. Through a variety of disciplinary lenses–including law, history, politics, literature and anthropology– we explore critically the priorities, strategies, techniques and shifts in these movements. We hope to visit issues regarding the historical and contemporary uses and resonance of such categories as “women,” “men,” “femininity,” “masculinity,” “children,” and “gender,” particularly as they relate to war, peace and empire. Pro-Seminar 2 completed their work in the summer of 2011.



Conveners: Matt Craven, Tony Anghie, Vasuki Nesiah, Arnulf Becker, Sundhya Pahuja
This pro-seminar aims to develop new research and writing about the history, meaning and significance of unequal encounters in global society, particularly as they have influenced the arrangements of the global legal order. How should we (and have we) thought about center-periphery relations in the global legal and political system as international lawyers? How should we understand the history and future of “third world approaches to international law?” How can we deepen our understanding of the history of colonialism for global legal (as well as political and economic) order? Pro-Seminar 3 is continuing discussions though 2011 including co-organizing the TWAIL Conference, “CAPITALISM AND THE COMMON GOOD” at the University of Oregon Law School, October 20-22, 2011. They will convene a series of meetings at the 2012 Workshop to begin work on producing a reader of essays focused on the Center and Periphery and International Law. They concluded their work in 2013.


Ideas about and gender, sex, sexuality, reproduction and the family have played pivotal roles in the rise of colonialism and of modern capitalism, in the formation and dissemination of classical legal thought, in the onset of “the social,” in decolonization and the formation of nations, and in the continual reconfiguration of liberalism’s global reach through “market oriented” economic policies and human rights advocacy. Formal and informal, conscious and unconscious, public and private policies in these domains have had massive material impacts on the course of social and economic development. While there are many valuable studies of specific questions, neither the influence of ideas about gendered existence nor the impact of gender policies on all aspects of life have been central thus far to the work of scholars interested in global governance. This Pro-seminar was designed to take some tentative first steps toward remedying this situation through the study of canonical texts from legal, psychological, political, social and cultural studies that might form the basis both for particular writing projects and for more general studies in the area.

In 2011 the group foncused on irrational (though perhaps systematic nevertheless) elements of social, economic, political, and intellectual life as they emerge within postcolonial legal orders. the group asked after the role of eros, affect, gender, psyche, and aesthetics. They studied not (only) economies of trade, war, colonization and development, but economies of desire within and alongside them. The goal was to open a new research project within the IGLP Workshop, in the hopes of queering what we think we know. Pro-Seminar 4 completed their work in the summer of 2011.



Convener: Christine Desan
The financial crisis of 2008 occurred when the money markets essential to global economic activity froze. According to Nobel laureate Gary Becker, many economic theorists did not see the crisis approaching. Those mainstream analysts routinely neglected “the whole financial sector, seeing money as unimportant.” Becker’s observation confirmed a long-standing orthodoxy. “The best models of the economy,” wrote Frank Hahn in 1982, “cannot find room” for money at all. The events of 2008 and their aftermath compel economists and others to re-examine the way money is theorized in order to understand the dynamics of the modern political economy.

The pro-seminar, Re-theorizing Liquidity, brought together scholars from a variety of disciplines, including economics, law, and history, who are engaged in theorizing the way societies create and manage liquidity, including money and credit-based derivatives. The seminar offered those scholars, in dialogue and debate with each other, an opportunity to develop further their models of liquidity. The group attended, in particular, to global dimensions of modern liquidity, including the spread of monetary forms, the operation of capital markets, and the challenges to state actors in the international arena. Pro-Seminar 5 has continued discussions in both 2012 and 2013 and continue their work on a volume of essays to be published in 2014. Pro-Seminar 5 is not currently accepting new participants.



Convener: Jorge Esquirol
Comparative law has undergone a series of methodological changes over the last decades which have changed our understanding of the politics, sociology and significance of “area studies” in law. At the same time, law and the legal profession in Latin America have themselves been changed. This pro-seminar brought together scholars thinking in new ways about law in Latin America to develop their own comparative scholarship and sharpen their intervention in the field of Latin American legal studies.  Pro-Seminar 6 completed their work in the summer of 2011. The group published a volume of essays on Renewing Latin American Legal Studies in 2012.