Globalization & the Law

Quick Info
(2008.03)  Course
M. Azeem; Adjunct Professor
3 credit(s)  3 hour(s);
Lecture; seminar; discussion. This course will be taught in three-hour weekly classes over nine weeks for a total of twenty-seven hours beginning in the week of January 16, 2023.
Upper Year Research & Writing Requirement

This course asks students to consider, critically and with an interdisciplinary approach, the changing role of law in the context of globalization.

Since the 1990s, international financial institutions (IFIs), Global Supply Chains (GSCs), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have pushed for new international legal regimes covering intellectual property, competition, banking, tax, tariff, and anti-dumping laws to protect investment (property), integrate markets, promote capitalist growth, and for contract enforcement. There have also been ‘social’ interventions through ‘good governance,’ control of corruption, rule of law, human rights, labour and environmental laws initiatives as soft conditionalities for loans, trade, investment, and business rankings. These interventions in total have led to significant legal reforms in the national and domestic laws of most countries. International donor agencies, NGOs, civil society, and judges have by and large uncritically monitored these reforms on a piece-meal basis. Yet the massive repeals, amendments, and new enactments of laws in developing and developed countries have affected state autonomy, as well as economic, political, industrial, and social life, particularly the lives of workers, peasants, women, and indigenous communities.

This course attempts to look at these changes in law and how have communities and social movements resisted the new legal regimes and how have lawyers and activists used the law, courts, and international institutions in class action suits and public interest litigation across national and international legal fora?
We will use a neo-Gramscian approach to global hegemony and a Third World Approach to International Law (TWAIL) as our theoretical framework. Students will read essential cases in international courts involving states, GSCs, international NGOs, and communities that challenge intellectual property violations, competition, anti-dumping laws, labour and environmental law, etc.