Current Legal Problems Lecture Series 2013-14
Governing 'As If':
The Provisional Settlement of Knowledge
Controversies in the WTO
Dr Andrew Lang (LSE)
Chaired by Professor Joanne Scott, UCL Laws
Thursday 14 November 2013
from 6 - 7pm
This lecture explores the relationship between practices of knowledge production and legal decision-making in the field of international economic law. It explores the 'practices of objectivity' by which certain forms of economic knowledge - whether tacit or explicit, formal or informal - are certified, and become the accepted basis for governance through law. It draws on the work of Jasanoff and Riles to identify a mode of 'governing as if': a pragmatic mode of governance through knowledge, which can be read against late twentieth century controversies over the socially constructed nature of scientific knowledge. The analysis is developed through a study of the benchmark problem in the field of subsidies regulation, as well as other areas of WTO law.
Biography of the speaker
Andrew Lang is a Reader in Law, at the LSE, teaching Public International Law, with a specialty in International Economic Law. He has a combined BA/LLB from the University of Sydney, and his PhD is from the University of Cambridge. From 2004-6, Dr Lang was a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. He is a co-founder, with Colin Picker, of the Society of International Economic Law. He sits on the Editorial Committee of the Modern Law Review, the Editorial Boards of the Journal of International Economic Law and the Law and Development Review, and is a Book Review Editor for the International and Comparative Law Quarterly. He has taught on Harvard's Institute for Global Law and Policy, the World Trade Institute's Masters of International Law and Economics (MILE) program, the University of Barcelona's IELPO course, as well as the IIEM Academy of International Trade Law in Macau. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Visiting Faculty at the University of Michigan, and an International Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Sydney. Dr Lang's current research is focussed on a number of themes around global economic governance, including the relationship between law and expert knowledge, international law and economics, and sociological approaches to the study of international economic law. He has a continuing research focus on the WTO’s SPS Agreement, including the particular issues raised under that agreement by Russia’s accession to the WTO. From September 2012-13, Dr Lang will be on leave as a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow, undertaking research on the constitutive role of international economic law in the production of transnational markets. In Spring 2013, he will be a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School.
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