Northwestern University

Fri 12:00 PM

American Identity Politics and International Law

recurring see all events in this series

When: Friday, February 8, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: Rebecca Crown Center, Hardin Hall, 633 Clark Street, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Dylan Peterson   847.467.2770

Group: Buffett Institute for Global Studies

Category: Global & Civic Engagement


It has long been conventional in our public morality to condemn the role of special interest groups in shaping international economic law and policy. Commentators are quick to point to a solution: engage the larger voting public regarding the moral merits of international economic agreements. This talk argues the opposite: if the American experience with international trade controversies is any guide, moral inflation and appeals to mass politics are more likely to increase the stakes of politics in international economic law and render beneficial and durable bargains more difficult. Thus, rather than encourage cooperation or productive deliberation, escalating moral rhetoric is more likely to transform international economic law into another arena in which polarizing and zero-sum conflicts over status, social identity, and moral prestige can be projected.

Jide Nzelibe joined Northwestern's faculty as an assistant professor in 2004 became a full Professor in 2008. He served as the Bigelow Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago before joining Northwestern Law. In addition to his JD from Yale Law School, he also holds an MPA in international relations from Princeton University, where he was awarded a fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Ford Foundation. His research and teaching interests include international trade, foreign relations law, public, and private international law and contracts.

The Buffett Institute Faculty & Fellows Colloquium brings together an interdisciplinary audience to build awareness of global research on campus. This series promotes dialogue on scholarship and develops a deeper sense of community among Buffett Institute affiliates. Each meeting lasts one hour; lunch is provided.

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