January 29, 2015
by ecp96@cornell.edu

Inaugural signature lecture for the Transnational Law Institute

On January 14th, 2015, I gave the inaugural signature lecture for the Transnational Law Institute, in collaboration with the Transnational Law Colloquium series, titled “From Comparison to Collaboration: Experiments with a New Scholarly and Political Form.” A video of my lecture can be seen here.

I also conducted a Methods Lab discussion about the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, the rise of ‘data politics’, the Meridian 180 project and the state of dialogue in North-East Asia. The audio for this interview can be found here.

December 12, 2014
by ar254@cornell.edu

Is Keynes worth fighting for?

My wonderful Cornell colleague Jonathan Kirshner has recently posted a most interesting post defending John M. Keynes against some of the oft-heard attacks on him in the popular media that paint him as left-wing radical/covert Socialist.  Kirshner convincingly demolishes this caricature point by point. His review does remind us of how small the policy gap between the right and the left in standard monetary financial policy really is.  When the pendulum swings back from Hayek towards Keynes, as it has since 2008, it is really not swinging all that far. If as Kirshner argues Keynes shouldn’t be demonized as he so often is, one also wonders if he is really worth fighting for.

December 6, 2014
by ecp96@cornell.edu

Upcoming Inaugural Lecture for the Transnational Law Institute Signature Series, at The Dickson Poon School of Law, Jan. 14


On January 14th, I will present “The Central Bank and the Market After the Demise of Neoliberalism: The Case of ‘Abenomics’” as the inaugural Transnational Law Signature Lecture, hosted by the Dickson Poon Transnational Law Institute in collaboration with the Methods Lab and the Transnational Law Colloquium. More information about the conference is here.


October 15, 2014
by ecp96@cornell.edu

Exchanging Expectations: Finance, Neofascism, and Relationality in Post-Fukushima Japan

On July 14th, I gave a lecture to The School of Criticism and Theory in which I analyze “Abenomics” — the financial policy of Japan’s far right government — as an example of a new emerging economic and political régime. I ask, what comes after neoliberalism, and what challenges does it pose to critique? The paper I present is co-authored with Hirokazu Miyazaki, Professor of Anthropology, Cornell University. The video appears here.


September 28, 2014
by ecp96@cornell.edu

From Comparison to Collaboration: Experiments with a New Scholarly and Political Form

In both the anthropology of law and comparative legal studies, a new direction for research and practice is emerging: collaboration. My forthcoming article in Law and Contemporary Problems analyzes collaboration as a modality of comparative law and legal anthropology and indeed a wider template for social and political life at this moment. I consider the theoretical and practical reasons for its importance at this moment, and its implications for the relationship of comparative law and legal anthropology. I argue that the very ubiquity and mundanity of collaboration discourse and practice in law and policy suggests that a response cannot simply be critique from outside — it must entail doing something with and within this template. I work through these claims through the example of a transnational and transdisciplinary collaborative intellectual project I am directing, known as Meridian 180. The full text appears here.

April 3, 2014
by ar254@cornell.edu

Ditching the traditional conference format

Last week I participated in a workshop in New York City sponsored by the Aspen Institute and organized by my wonderful law school colleague Lynn Stout on new approaches to corporate governance.  Lynn experimented with a totally different conference format–no podiums, no panels, no long speeches followed by polite questions from the audience.

Instead, we sat around breakfast tables and started the day by introducing ourselves and telling the group what we were reading at the moment. Then we split into small groups of five to discuss what was the most exciting idea we had encountered in the field (other than our own!).  Throughout the day we moved through a series of exercises, from writing on flipboards to “tweeting” on notecards, to imagining the world in ten years’ time and how we got there, to sharing one or two of the things we were most proud of or wish we could do differently in our careers to date.

Academics are creatures of habit and some people seemed to have trouble adapting to this new format. Some even flunked the introductions and couldn’t help launching into a speech about their own work.  Others just couldn’t put aside the impulse to promote their own ideas long enough to engage in the collaborative exercise. But I thought it was really fun. For one thing, people were not constantly checking their email while sitting through long presentations that had long ago ossified into positions the authors were only willing to defend, but not revisit.

I suppose the downside of such an approach is that it tends to produce back-of-the-envelope type thinking rather than sustained, researched, and nuanced ideas.  But it depends what your goal is.  Lynn’s goal was to foster an environment that encouraged junior scholars and created networks among junior scholars and senior scholars. For that purpose it worked beautifully because junior people could speak on an equal footing with senior people.

What experiences have you had with alternative formats for scholarly engagement? What has worked and not worked in your experience? What ideas for possible formats would you be interested in trying? I think this is something we need to think about more.

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