December 5, 2011, found Annelise Riles, the Jack G. Clarke Professor of Law in Far East Legal Studies and Director of the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture, at the University of Hong Kong, where she delivered the Rowdget Young Lecture on commercial law. Presenting on her book Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Markets, Riles drew on ten years of fieldwork in the Japanese derivatives market to argue for the importance of legal reason in global governance. Examining the ways in which global financial governance is influenced by the daily use of mundane legal techniques such as collateral, Riles’s research aims to democratize our understanding of legal technique.
“Her lecture was very inspiring because of her interdisciplinary approach,” says Guanghua Yu, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Chinese Law at the University of Hong Kong. Yu, who is currently sojourning at Cornell as a Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture Visiting Scholar, adds that a main reason why Riles was invited to present was her expertise in Asian law from an anthropological perspective.
“It was truly a great honor to have an opportunity to present my research and my ideas about financial market regulation to an audience of legal scholars and practitioners familiar with the Hong Kong and Chinese markets,” says Riles. “I learned a lot.”