Spring 2019 Symposium

Global Inequality: Law and International Political Economy

Building Global Economic Justice

The past few decades have witnessed rapid and extraordinary growth on a global scale, but the chasm between rich and poor nations, and between the rich and poor within nations, has widened to unprecedented depths. More than four billion people – some 60 percent of humanity – still live on less than $5 per day. The standard narrative tells us this is a technical problem, one that can be solved by adopting the right institutions and the right economic policies. And yet, despite decades of “development,” so much of the world continues to live in grinding poverty, while the elite in a few countries enjoy unprecedented, ever-increasing wealth.

This year, the LIDS symposium aims to interrogate the interaction of development, law, and international political economy. The field of international development seeks to ameliorate conditions of poverty and deprivation, but does so against an unjust background of colonialism and resource extraction. Rapid globalization creates further challenges in the 21st century. With this in mind, the workshops hope to spark growing conversation on the roots of global inequality, bringing into dialogue practitioners, academics, and students who are interested in engaging more critically with the topic. Workshops will focus on topics such as technology, intellectual property and access to health; international investment and human rights; international finance and trade; and the role of law in shaping and correcting global inequality. By focusing on law and political economy, the symposium aspires to illuminate the historical, structural drivers of poverty, reveal the role of global governance in facilitating the “great divergence” between Global North and Global South, and shed light on potential solutions and interventions. Law has been central to how global inequality was created, and law will be central to any just, equitable path forward.


Visit the symposium website and the Facebook event page.

Register here.