Katharina Pistor is a comparatist of law, institutions and system: she was trained in Germany, studied Chinese and Soviet Law in London, and teaches at an American law school. Much of her research explores the diversity of legal institutions and the differences between legal systems – including their propensity to change, adapt, and transform themselves notwithstanding strong forces of persistence. In the past, she researched the transformation of legal systems in the former socialist world and other emerging markets. The 2008 global financial crisis raised the prospect that transformation is no longer a property of emerging markets that seek to ‘catch up’ with the West. Instead, transformation has engulfed the entire globe, shattering in its course conventional legal categories, such as public vs. private, national vs. international, hard law vs. soft law, and self-regulation vs. state regulation. This prompted her to refocus her research on processes of global legal change and to establish the Center on Global Legal Transformation. Ongoing research projects include governing interdependencies; the globalization of property rights regimes; sovereign wealth funds; comparative global finance; and the distributional effects of alternative regulatory regimes.
Postdoctoral Research Scholar
Agnieszka Janczuk-Gorywoda received her MA degrees in law and in economics in Poland (Warsaw), and LLM in international competition law and policy in the UK (University of East Anglia). While studying competition law, she became interested in rule making by non-state organizations. She then embarked on a PhD research project concerning the role of private regulatory organizations in the process of European integration which she conducted at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy). Taking three selected sectors (banking, real estate professionals and housing) as a testing ground, her thesis portrays the actual functioning of private regulation in the European Union and looks at the mutual correlation between the process of European integration and private regulation in the EU. The study shows that European integration is both influencing and being influenced by private regulation at the European and national level. Looking into the banking, real estate and housing sectors, Agnieszka discovered the increasing influence that international financial markets exert on property markets. Removing barriers to cross-border capital movements means that foreign capital has facilitated access to local property markets. This unavoidably leads to changes in the structure of property rights and requires investigation. Agnieszka is also involved in the HiiL (Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law) project on Private Transnational Regulatory Regimes – Constitutional Foundations and Governance Design, where she examines integration of payment systems at the European and transnational level.
Casey Quinn graduated from Columbia Law School in 2009 with an emphasis on international law and governance. He immediately applied for a position with the Center on Global Legal Transformation when he first learned about it because he believes that the impact of globalization is the most important issue in law right now. As in law school, his major interest is in governance, particularly the legitimacy of governance structures. The dominant current model of legitimacy is democratic accountability in the form of periodic elections of governing officials. This obviously does not apply to the emerging global governance structures, even those that are ostensibly ‘public,’ such as the United Nations. Does this point to a legitimacy gap in the new governance order? Should it? Must global governing authorities adopt traditional democratic institutions, or are there alternative models of legitimacy, such as transparency and competence? Are there alternative models of democratic accountability, such as an informed, policy-based consensus on what governing agents should be doing rather than who should be leading them, or is popular representation the only legitimate democratic paradigm? These are some of the questions that he thinks must be answered as law and governance are transformed by globalization.
Rachel Harvey received her PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago, where her dissertation research focused on the role of sociocultural processes in the globalization of a financial market based in London. Her research indicated that tradition, custom, and place were central in the transformation of the London Gold Fixing, a trading forum for the exchange of gold bullion, from an international market into a global formation. Over the course of her research it became apparent that social networks, organizations, and cultures that appeared to be very local and even traditional were enacting global functions. To study globalization and its impacts she believes it is crucial to understand how social and institutional formations that appear to be national or local, such as law, are involved in global governance functions. The diversity of law and law-like mechanisms involved in globalization does not necessarily result, moreover, in the emergence of a uniform set of legal principles. Studying global legal transformation thus requires investigating the degree to which uniform standards emerge and examining how de facto global governance results from the interface of private and public actors operating at a variety of spatial levels or scales. Her current research utilizes this perspective by exploring how urban-based private industry associations in cooperation with financial authorities, such as central banks, enact global financial governance.