Peter Danchin and Group of International Scholars to Investigate the Backlash Against Global Law and Institutions

April 19, 2019

The international news section is awash in increasing reports of global instability. The UK’s Brexit struggles, the tenuousness of the NATO alliance, attacks on the International Criminal Court, new tariffs, uncertainty surrounding the Paris Climate Agreement, instability in Venezuela, and countless other international crises dominate the headlines. One international group of scholars seeks both to investigate the causes of this backlash and to examine how current international instability affects the global legal order.

Maryland Carey Law is joining colleagues from The Australian National University (ANU) and Indiana University in a global research partnership titled “Navigating the Backlash Against Global Law and Institutions.”

Professor of Law and Director of the International and Comparative Law Program, Peter Danchin, is a Lead Investigator in the project along with Dr. Jeremy Farrell of ANU and former Maryland Carey Law professor Shruti Rana, now at Indiana University Bloomington.

Danchin, Farrell, and Rana have received a strategic global research grant from ANU to hold three workshops, one at each institution, to address the central question. They have invited interdisciplinary scholars and policymakers from around the globe to participate.

These workshops will evaluate the impact of rising global political instability on four critical domains of global legal order: first, the role of multilateral security and human rights organizations including the United Nations; second, the global political economy following rapid changes in trade, technology, and financial globalization; third, the rise of populism and decline of liberal democracy; and fourth, the role of American power as an underwriter and guarantor of the global order.

In addition to exploring the problems posed by the backlash against global law and institutions, the workshop also devotes part of the conversation to how governments may react to the erosion of international order with scenarios ranging from minor adjustments to strengthen the existing system to attempts to reconceive altogether new conceptions of international order.

Danchin expressed his excitement for the project and the hope for increasing cooperation among international scholars as well as raising the international profile of Maryland Carey Law: “This is an effort for the law school to reach out to people working in other parts of the world to extend and enhance our research profile and our professional relationships, but also to work together on how to respond to this extraordinary crisis of our time.”

The project opens in Australia with the first workshop scheduled at ANU in June. The workshop at Maryland Carey Law will take place on October 17-18, 2019. It will double as the Maryland Journal of International Law’s annual symposium and the proceedings of the workshop will be published in a special edition of the journal.