Professor Kevin Davis
Professor Frank Upham

Spring 2017
Mondays, 4:10–6:00 p.m.
Thursdays, 3:00–4:50 p.m.

3 credits

Vanderbilt Hall (40 Washington Square South), Room 202

The course will cover various theories of the role that law and legal institutions play in economic, social, and political development. We will examine various aspects of the legal system but with an emphasis on land law and the judiciary. We will also examine the impact and influence of economic globalization; the role of external organizations such as the World Bank, the WTO, or USAID; and the role of factors such as culture, history, and politics. The course will include six or seven outside speakers who will present scholarship on relevant topics. To enable students to understand and critique the presentations, we will front-load the general reading into the first part of the semester. To do so may require meeting for four periods (two 100 minute periods) at the beginning of the semester. We will then meet for less time in the second half of the semester. Students will be evaluated on two 500 word papers critiquing a presentation and a take-home exam. There will not be an option to satisfy the Substantial Writing requirement in the course.


Spring 2017 Schedule of Presenters

Thursday, February 16

Dina Waked (SciencesPo)

Competition or Concentration? Old Debate with New Implications for Antitrust Enforcement in Developing Countries


Thursday, February 23

Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto (Pompeu Fabra University & Barcelona Graduate School of Economics; Centre de Recerca en Economia Internacional) 

Securing Property Rights


Thursday, March 2

Philip G. Alston (New York University School of Law)

How Seriously Does China Take Economic and Social Rights?


Thursday, March 23

Alex Wang (University of California Los Angeles School of Law)

The Symbolic Aspects of Environmental Reform in China

(Paper available upon request; please contact Ian Brydon,


Thursday, March 30

David Trubek (University of Wisconsin Law School)

Legal Professions and Development Strategies: Corporate Lawyers and the Construction of the Telecoms Sector in Brazil (1980s–2010s)


Thursday, April 6

John Gillespie (Monash University)

Mediating Land Grabs in East Asia: Negotiating In, Around and Outside the Law


Thursday, April 20

Mark Massoud (University of California Santa Cruz)

British Colonialism, Development, and the Rule of Law in Somalia

(Paper available to attendants upon request; please contact Ian Brydon,