Colloquium on Law and Development in the Middle East and North Africa (the "MENA Law and Development Colloquium")
THEME: Law, Revolution and Reform in the Arab World
The MENA Law and Development Colloquium meets the first six Thursdays of the Fall 2011 semester (August 25-September 29), from 12:20pm to 2:20pm in Room G85 at Cornell Law School. Invited participants include law students and other graduate students, faculty and other interested members of the Cornell community. The goal is to foster discussion and dialogue on larger themes and specific cases in a seminar setting that encourages sophisticated and interdisciplinary perspectives.
This colloquium will consider the constitutional and legal aspects of contemporary political transitions in the Arab world. 2011 has seen profound political transformations in several nations of the Arab world, linked to remarkable popular movements. These movements have framed their cause at least in part in the language of law, calling for the institution of the rule of law against corrupt and antidemocratic regimes.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) remains a region of central global importance for reasons of both economy and national security. In the MENA, movements for legal reform have been on the rise over the past few decades, including those originating from Western concepts, such as human rights, constitutionalism and economic deregulation, and those that rest on Islamic law. One focus of this seminar will be to understand the points of convergence and divergence between these discourses of legal reform.
Thurs. Sep. 1. Resisting Democracy: America and the Egyptian Regime
Is an associate professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches courses on US foreign policy, Egyptian politics, and democratization. Proficient in Arabic, Brownlee has been traveling to and studying Egypt for over fifteen years. His first book, Authoritarianism in an Age of Democratization, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007. His articles have appeared in a range of scholarly and policy journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, Harvard International Review, and Middle East Report. During 2010- 2011, Brownlee was a visiting fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. He is completing a book on relations between the United States and the Egyptian security state.
Thurs. Sep. 8. Law and the Mideast 2011 Revolution: On Nonviolence, Constitutional Moments, and Transitional Justice
Chibli Mallat, currently teaching at Harvard Law School as the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Visiting Professor of Islamic Law and Justice, joined the faculty of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law as Professor of Middle Eastern Law and Politics in 2007. He was named Presidential Professor in 2009, and served between 2008 and 2010 as Senior Legal Advisor to the Global Justice Project: Iraq. He also holds the EU Jean Monnet Chair of Law at Saint Joseph's University in Lebanon. He has held research and teaching positions in the US at Princeton University, Yale Law School, the University of Virginia Law School, the Library of Congress, University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law, in Europe at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of Lyon, and in Lebanon at Saint Joseph's University and the Islamic University. As a legal practitioner and consultant Professor Mallat has litigated several international criminal law cases, and advises governments, corporations and individuals in Middle Eastern and international law.
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Thurs., Sep. 15. Egypt's Constitutional Revolution
Nathan Brown is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. He is a specialist on the comparative politics of the Middle East. He also serves as a nonresident senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Professor Brown is the author of six books, including Participation, not Domination: Islamist Political Parties and Semiauthoritarian Politics in the Arab World (forthcoming, Cornell University Press, fall 2011),Constitutions in a Nonconstitutional World: Arab Basic Laws and the Prospects for Accountable Government, (State University of New York Press, 2001), and The Rule of Law in the Arab World: Courts in Egypt and the Gulf (Cambridge University Press, 1997). Professor Brown received his B.A. in 1980 from the University of Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1983 and 1987. His doctoral dissertation was awarded the Malcolm Kerr Prize by the Middle East Studies Association. He taught for one year at Ben-Gurion University in Israel as a Fulbright fellow and received previous Fulbright grants to conduct research in Egypt and the Gulf. He has also conducted research funded by the United States Institute of Peace and served as a member of the international advisory committees for drafting the Iraqi and Palestinian constitutions. He has consulted with various United States and international agencies and briefed senior officials in the United States and Europe on several occasions. In 2009, he was named a Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Corporation of New York for his work on Islamist political movements.
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Thurs, Sep. 22. Still Stalled Between Seasons: State-Building and Mass Mobilization in Palestine
Omar Dajani is a Professor of Law at the McGeorge School of Law of the University of the Pacific. Previously, Professor Dajani served as political adviser on Palestinian Affairs to the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (2001-2003) and as legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team in peace talks with Israel (1999-2001). Professor Dajani also continues to provide occasional advice both to the Palestinian negotiating team and to institution-building and peace-building projects in the Middle East and elsewhere. His publications includeShadow or Shade: The Roles of Law in Palestinian-Israeli Peace Talks, 32 Yale J. Int'l L. 61 (2007).
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Thurs., Sep. 29. Legitimacy, Authority and Sovereignty in Islamic Thought: Toward a Pluralist (Political) Ethics
Anver Emon joined the Faculty of Law in 2005 and is Associate Professor of Law. Professor Emon's research focuses on premodern and modern Islamic legal history and theory; premodern modes of governance and adjudication; and the role of Shari'a both inside and outside the Muslim world. He teaches Tort Lae. Statutory Interpretation, and specialized seminars on Islamic legal history, gender and Islamic law, and law and religion. The author ofIslamic Natural Law Theories (Oxford University Press, 2010), Professor Emon is the co-editor of Islamic Law and International Human Rights: Searching for Common Ground? (Oxford, Forthcoming), the Editor in Chief, ofMiddle East Law and Governance: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and sits on the editorial board of The Journal of Law and Religion.Back to Schedule
Spring 2010 Seminar
Colloquium on Law and Development in the Middle East and North Africa (the "MENA Law and Development Colloquium")
Logistical Details:The MENA Law and Development Colloquium meets every Tuesday from 4:15pm to 5:55pm in Room 273 at Cornell Law School, unless otherwise noted (exceptions this semester occur on April 2 and April 9-10). Invited participants include law students and other graduate students, faculty and other interested members of the Cornell community. The goal is to foster discussion and dialogue on larger themes and specific cases in a seminar setting that encourages sophisticated and interdisciplinary perspectives.
Description of Colloquium:The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) remains a region of central global importance for reasons of both economy and national security. In the MENA, movements for legal reform have been on the rise over the past few decades, including those originating from Western concepts, such as human rights, constitutionalism and economic deregulation, and those that rest on Islamic law. One focus of this seminar will be to understand the points of convergence and divergence between these discourses of legal reform.
The seminar will begin by looking at contemporary and traditional approaches to law as a force for economic and social development, and by considering the distinctive characteristics of the MENA against the larger literature on law and development. The seminar will then feature guest lectures from Cornell faculty and experts from around the world. Sample topics include: the creation of a new legal code in Iraq; judicial training for the rule of law in Egypt; constitutionalism in Turkey; human rights as reflected in the UN Arab Human Development Report; and the role of Islamic law in shaping the contemporary family and household. Students will be required to read background materials before each class session, and to write six 3-to-5 page reaction papers.
Developmental States and the Legal Order: Towards a New Political Economy of Development and Law David Trubek, Senior Fellow, Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE) and Voss-Bascom Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - Professor Trubek is one of the world’s leading authorities on law and development, the author of several key scholarly texts on the subject and involved in numerous field and consultation projects over four decades.
This project forms part of Professor Trubek’s new initiative LANDS, Law and the New Developmental State.The LANDS project studies emerging trends in law and development, in the context of their relevant to longstanding discourse. The term “developmental state” was used to describe the role of the state in the development, primarily in Latin America and Asia, where states played an active role in stimulating and directing economic growth. These policies fell out of fashion during the ascendance of neo-liberalism and the “Washington consensus.” Today, however, new practices and new theories of development are emerging and some countries are returning to a more active role in promoting both growth and equity. These new developmental states are experimenting with new modes of legal action. This paper looks at recent theoretical work on the political economy of development, showing that these new developments require a rethinking of the role of law in development; outlines some of the new legal and governance processes and practices that are emerging, and discusses what would be needed construct a robust theory of the role of law in a new developmental state.
Between Institutions and Culture: The UNDP’s Arab Human Development Reports, 2002-2005
Michael Trebilcock, Chair in Law and Economics, University Professor and Professor of Law at the University of Toronto
Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - Professor Trebilcock is a leading authority in law and economic regulation, and has published several key texts on international trade law and commercial law. He is the recent co-author (with Ron Daniels) of Rule of Law Reform and Development: Charting the Fragile Path of Progress. In this presentation, Professor Trebilcock examines the first four Arab Human Development Reports, 2002-2005, a new and important report series sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme and written by over one hundred Arab scholars based in the Middle East and elsewhere. These reports have attracted more attention and controversy than any other offi cial studies of development in recent years. The Reports are controversial in at least two respects: First, they adopt a conception of development as freedom that excludes all economic variables. Second, they emphasize three major themes, building a knowledge society; expansion of political freedoms; and women’s empowerment, that challenge in fundamental ways central features of institutional regimes and cultural and religious traditions in Arab societies. The reports espouse a form of egalitarian liberal democracy as a benchmark for formulating reform strategies in Arab societies, particularly given the role and influence of path dependence in explaining the status quo. This form of universalistic utopianism tends to discount the dramatic differences in performance amongst various Arab societies on a wide range of economic, social, and political indicators and fails to exploit the potential value of these differences in identifying and exploiting openings for feasible reform strategies.
The Fifth Arab Human Development Report, 2009: An Insider’s View
Adel Abdellatif, Report Coordinator, United Nations Development Programme Regional Bureau for Arab States.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - The fifth Arab Human Development Report issued by the United Nations Development Programme followed a gap of several years during which the first four reports attracted a great deal of attention and controversy. The fifth report seeks to develop many of the earlier reports’ themes relating to political freedoms and gender equality, but also introduces a new emphasis: human security.
This presentation will describe the process of coordinating the report from an insider’s perspective: Adel Abdellatif was appointed Chief of the Regional Programme Division, Regional Bureau for Arab States, UNDP, in May 2007. Mr. Abdellatif is responsible for six programmes in the Arab states region, focused on key issues including governance, trade, water governance and environment, quality assurance in education, technology for development, and HIV/AIDS; he also oversees the flagship Arab Human Development Report and the new Arab Knowledge Report series. Prior to assuming this post he led UNDP’s Program of Governance in the Arab Region (POGAR), where he established a working team analyzing and advocating for governance reform in the Arab region. Before joining UNDP, Adel served at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt from 1979 through 1998, occupying senior posts in various countries and earning the rank of Ambassador in 2004. He holds a doctoral degree in Political Economy, in addition to a diploma in Diplomatic Studies, awarded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, as well as a diploma in International Trade, from the General Agreement for Trade & Tariffs in Geneva.
Images of the Arab World and Middle East in Debates about Development and Regional Integration
Michael Fakhri, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Toronto Faculty of Law & University of Oregon School of Law
Tuesday, March 2, 2010 - Recently, the United Nations Development Programme Regional Bureau for Arab States (UNDP RBAS) and the World Bank produced thoroughly researched and clearly written reports addressing development and regional integration in the Arab/Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. Both reports were written for a broad, non-specialist audience and have garnered significant public attention. Both the UNDP RBAS and World Bank reports call for increased regional integration amongst Arab or MENA states but for different reasons - the UNDP RBAS report for purposes of norm building based on Arab identity and the World Bank report to gain economic growth from trade liberalization.
This presentation examines how each report's definition of development relates to its reasoning for increased regional integration. The UNDP RBAS employs a human development/development as freedom approach and the World Bank considers economic growth paramount for development; this difference is exemplary of the current tension between competing development paradigms. I also draw out each reports understanding of law and describe the legal framework implicit in each report's prescriptions. By outlining the legal framework behind each report, I point out inconsistencies, tensions and ambiguities within each report and note the similarities between the two.
The History of Legal Reform in Iraq
The Honorable Raid Juhi Al Saedi, Visiting Jurist in Residence and LL.M. Candidate, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - The Honorable Raid Juhi Al Saedi, (“Judge Raid”), was formerly the Chief Investigative Judge of the Iraqi High Tribunal, the court which investigated and tried Saddam Hussein and other former regime leaders of Iraq for Genocide War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. Judge Raid served as the first Clarke Middle East Fellow at Cornell Law School, and is currently affiliated with Case Western Reserve Law School. In addition, Judge Raid has extensive experience in legal practice in Iraq, having practiced criminal law, commercial law, family law, civil law, and disputes before various Iraqi courts. In 1995, Judge Raid became a Judicial Investigator in the Iraqi Ministry of Justice.
Judge Raid’s presentation will discuss the origins of the contemporary Iraqi legal system, identify current challenges, and discuss whether legal reform might contribute to the country’s stability and development. Topics covered will include: Islamic law in the Middle East, the history of Iraqi law before and after World War I and British occupation, the effect of British law on Iraq’s civil law system, and the structure of the judiciary.
A Workers’ Social Movement on the Margin of the Global Order: Egypt 2004-08
Joel Beinin, Stanford University
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - This presentation draws on social movement theory, historical research and recent policy work and field observations to construct an analysis of the resurgence of workers’ political mobilization in Egypt in the last decade. From 1998 to 2008 some 2 million workers participated in 2,623 factory occupations, strikes, demonstrations, or other collective actions; the movement continued to gather strength in 2009. While worker activists have disparate understandings of their experiences, “working class” is a legible and common term in Egypt. It refers to the structural, historical category formed and reformed by industrial modernity, colonialism, nationalism, post-colonial anti-imperialism, and, most-recently global neoliberalism. It simultaneously comprises the micro-histories and local cultures of social networks in urban and suburban industrial areas.
The discourse framing these demands recalls the Arab socialism of the 1950s and 1960s or relies on an Islamic notion of a moral economy or some combination of the two that valorizes the national-populist social pact. Only a small minority of workers seeks fundamental social and political change through a sustained movement from below.
The Evolution of Turkish Constitutionalism
Asli Ü. Bâli, Acting Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
Friday, April 2, 2010 - Professor Bâli is Acting Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law. She teaches Public International Law and a seminar on the Laws of War. She joins the UCLA faculty from the Yale Law School where she was the Irving S. Ribicoff Fellow in Law and Coordinator of the Middle East Legal Forum.
Bâli’s research interests focus on public international law generally, including the intersection of international law and international relations, as well as issues of non-proliferation, human rights and humanitarian law. She also has a strong interest in the comparative law of the Middle East. Recent work includes The Legality-Legitimacy Debate in the Context of Nonproliferation (forthcoming, 2009, United Nations University Press); Interventionism and its Discontents in the Middle East (co-authored working paper with Aziz Rana under review); and From Subjects to Citizens? The Shifting Paradigm of Electoral Authoritarianism in the Middle East, published in Middle East Law and Governance, January 2009.
Decolonization, Modernization and Development in the Middle East and North Africa and Beyond: New Studies in the Household and the Market Workshop
Co-sponsored by Cornell, Harvard and University of Toronto Law Schools
FRIDAY & SATURDAY, April 9-10, 2010 - Myriad contemporary and genealogical discourses – anticolonial, human rights, religious, nation-building, feminist, development-promoting -- address the relationship between the household and the market in the Middle East and North Africa. This workshop hopes to gain some traction, in the context of comparative analysis, on these many dynamic projects of legal reform, state-building and economic development that depend on and contribute to particular understandings of these discursive dividing lines.
A central goal of the workshop is to foster a broad set of approaches -- comparative law, law and development, Islamic law and family law – to achieve a richer understanding of the legal contexts of modernization and development in the Middle East and North Africa as they relate to the contact points between secular orders and religious ones, market forces and family organization, and international, national and local legal orders. This workshop will begin with a dinner seminar on Friday, April 9, and continue with a full-day workshop on Saturday, April 10.
Law, Development and War: The Political Economy of Foreign Aid
Hani Sayed, Chair & Assistant Professor, American University in Cairo Department of Law
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - Professor Sayed’s presentation will address the impact of humanitarian and development aid in the Palestinian Territories on the prospects for sustainable economic growth. This work in progress stems from Professor Sayed’s research on the developmental state in the Middle East and North Africa. Dr. Sayed’s research interests focus on law and economic development, international economic law, and legal and political theory.
Hani Sayed currently serves as Chair of the Law Department at the American University in Cairo, where he has also served as assistant professor of law since February 2005. Professor Sayed received his Licence en Droit from Damascus University, a D.E.S. in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, and an S.J.D. from Harvard Law School. He has also practiced law in Damascus and New York.
Law and Development in Palestine
Asem Khalil, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law and Public Administration and Master Program in Democracy and Human Rights, Birzeit University, Ramallah, West Bank
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - Dr. Khalil holds a Ph.D. in Public Law from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and a Master in Public Administration from National School of Administration (ENA – France). His presentation addresses the relationship between law and development and more specifically, the relationship between statutory laws and economic development.
In the case of Palestine, the 1993 Oslo Accords ostensibly set forth principles and mechanisms to achieve self-government by the Palestinian territories. Statutory laws were used by the Palestinian Authority to accelerate the process of socio-economic change, through a planned process of legal reform and often also through contingent responses to crisis. However, the Palestinian experience since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority pursuant to the Oslo Accords, despite the economic developmental goals present in Oslo strategies and discourses, has too often achieved legal reform without substantive economic improvements, instead bearing witness to continuous deterioration and dependency of the Palestinian economy.