Global Capitalism and Law: A Colloquium at Northwestern

The newly formed Buffett Institute Research Group on Global Capitalism and Law  invites you and relevant colleagues to participate in the first interdisciplinary regional colloquium.  The Research Group, launched in October 2015, investigates the political, social, legal, and normative underpinnings of successful and politically sustainable local, national, and global economies. Our goal is to replace one-size-fits-all recommendations with a deeper understanding of how legal infrastructures can facilitate investment and build trust and predictability, while protecting the rights and addressing the needs of all citizens.

We welcome faculty, visiting scholars, and advanced graduate students to present work in progress.  Our goals are to build liaisons, improve work in progress, mentor graduate students, and promote interdisciplinary conversations.  We are interested in research that examines global capitalism, and/or the intersection between local/national and global markets anywhere in the world (including the U.S.).

Our conception of law is broad, including hard or soft law; legal processes, such as mediation, arbitration and adjudication; legal and quasi-legal institutions, such as treaties, executive bodies, regulatory agencies, etc.; and global normmaking, including private lawmaking bodies.  We invite both single-discipline and multi-discipline work from political science, sociology, philosophy, law, history, economics, anthropology. 

If you are interested in participating, please get in touch with Erin Lockwood (, the Research Assistant for the GC&L Working Group by December 15, 2016. Please include a paper topic (and, if possible, an abstract). Or, if you prefer to participate only as discussant, please let us know. We will try to include everyone. If necessary, priority will be given to faculty and advanced graduate students whose primary research agenda focuses on global capitalism and law. Visiting faculty are welcome to participate. 

Presenters are required to send a paper, or a rough 20-page sketch of an idea, for posting on a secure website at least two weeks before the Colloquium.  Everyone is expected to read the preparatory materials-which must be unpublished.  The session format will be five-minute presentation by the discussant (the author does not present the paper); five-minute reply by the author; and twenty-minute general discussion.

The Research Group on Global Capitalism and Law will provide for all colloquium meals, including a Colloquium dinner on Thursday evening. We anticipate that participants will cover their own travel and lodging expenses.  If there are special difficulties, please let us know.   Parking passes are available upon request.