CJIL 2021 Symposium: The Transformation of International Law Scholarship

In recent years, increasing globalization and rapid technological developments have made international politics and legal institutions more critical than ever. But changing circumstances around the world, such as the rise of ardent nationalism, have placed international law in a precarious position, as scholars routinely call its efficacy into question.

On Friday, February 26, 2021, the Chicago Journal of International Law convened scholars from around the world for a novel symposium, "The Transformation of International Law Scholarship." Professors Tom Ginsburg, Adam Chilton, and Daniel Abebe presented a lead essay outlining the social science approach to international law, one which emphasizes empiricism, skepticism, and normative restraint. Professors Eric Posner and Jack Goldsmith offered reflections on their book, The Limits of International Law. Scholars from across the globe shared their perspectives on international law scholarship, how it developed, and where it will go in the future.


Panel 1: Introducing the Social Science Approach to International Law and Its Applications
Daniel Abebe, The University of Chicago Law School
Adam Chilton, The University of Chicago Law School
Tom Ginsburg, The University of Chicago Law School
Matthew Erie, University of Oxford
James Gathii, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Panel 2: Bringing the Social Science Approach to New Frontiers
Olabisi Akinkugbe, Schulich School of Law
Emilia Justyna Powell, University of Notre Dame
Weijia Rao, Antonin Scalia Law School

Panel 3: The Limits of International Law and the Limits of Social Science
Jack Goldsmith, Harvard Law School
Eric Posner, The University of Chicago Law School
Mary Ellen O’Connell, University of Notre Dame Law School
Anu Bradford, Columbia Law School

Panel 4: The Internal Aspect of International Law
Yifeng Chen, Peking University School of Law
Simon Chesterman, Dean, National University of Singapore Faculty of Law
Gregory Shaffer, University of California, Irvine School of Law

You can read about the conference here.