Professor Ginsburg Delivers the Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lecture 2019: "Democracies and International Law"

Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lecture 2019: 'Democracies and International Law: The Trials of Liberalism (Part 1)' - Professor Tom Ginsburg

A series of three lectures was delivered by Professor Tom Ginsburg, Leo Spitz Professor of International Law, Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Research Scholar, Professor of Political Science, The University of Chicago Law School in March, 2019.

Audio of the lectures is available at the University of Cambridge Streaming Media Service

Lecture 1: Democracies and International Law

In this lecture, I seek to explore whether and how democracies behave differently than non-democracies in their use of international legal instruments. Understanding this relationship requires returning to some of the foundational assumptions of the literature, especially those associated with liberal theory. Scholars in the 1990s argued that international law among liberal states was qualitatively different from that among illiberal states.  This is, as I argue, an empirical question, and the first lecture will go about testing whether liberal states are indeed more likely to cooperate using legal mechanisms. I show that international law in our era is largely produced by and utilized by democratic states, but I go on to argue that liberal theory did not provide a complete theoretical account. Instead I draw on the theory of public goods to develop an explanation for international legal institutions.

The Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lecture is an annual three-part lecture series given in Cambridge to commemorate the unique contribution to the development of international law of Sir Hersch Lauterpacht. These lectures are given annually by a person of eminence in the field of international law. 

Read more at University of Cambridge Streaming Media Service