David Kennedy: “Through a Glass Darkly: Political Economy and the Great Disparities”

  • Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Institute for Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School

Abstract: Kennedy considers how ideas about “the system” developed in the international arena might also be useful in thinking about political economy and inequality in the American context.  He argues that many contemporary discussions of inequality in the social sciences, as in law, are constrained by conventional images of economic and political life in the United States and by an inability to understand the constitutive role of legal arrangements in distributional arrangements.

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. In his research, he 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 is author of numerous articles, book chapters, and monographs. His most recent books include A World of Struggle: How Power, Law and Expertise Shape Global Political Economy (Princeton, 2016), and Law and Economics with Chinese Characteristics: Institutions for Promoting Development in the 21st Century (Oxford, 2013, co-editor). He is a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and past Chair and Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Global Governance.

Neville Hoad (Respondent) is Associate Professor of English and co-director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. He works in queer theory, African literature, human rights, and development studies. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and of African Intimacies: Race, Homosexuality, and Globalization (Minnesota, 2007). He is currently working on a book manuscript entitled “Pandemic Genres,” on the literature and culture of the “African” HIV/AIDS pandemic.


Event series: Colloquia, Fall 2021 Colloquium