PUBLISHED:April 18, 2016

Bradley receives Andrew Carnegie Fellowship

Prof. Curtis Bradley Prof. Curtis Bradley

Curtis A. Bradley, the William Van Alstyne Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy Studies at Duke University, has been named a 2016 Andrew Carnegie Fellow by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Bradley, whose expertise spans the areas of international law in the U.S. legal system, the constitutional law of foreign affairs, and federal jurisdiction, is the first Duke University scholar to receive the prestigious fellowship. He will use the $200,000 award to develop a global project titled “Comparative Foreign Relations Law and Democratic Accountability” that will help define the relatively new field of comparative foreign relations law.

Bradley is one of 33 fellows selected from a pool of 200 nominees by a jury of scholars and academic leaders based on the originality, promise, and potential impact of their proposals to address some of the most urgent challenges to U.S. democracy and international order, according to a statement issued by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

“To be selected as an Andrew Carnegie Fellow is a tremendous honor,” said Bradley. “The fellowship offers a unique opportunity to examine how democracies compare and contrast with one another in making decisions on such critical matters as going to war, entering into treaties and other agreements, and receiving international law domestically. It is very exciting.”

“Curt’s superb proposal details a deeply scholarly project with potential for significant and immediate global impact,” said Duke President Richard H. Brodhead who, along with Provost Sally Kornbluth nominated Bradley for the fellowship. “I’m delighted that he has been honored as a 2016 Andrew Carnegie Fellow.” 

Bradley’s project will significantly expand an initiative he launched at a 2015 scholarly conference on comparative foreign relations law held in conjunction with the Duke-Geneva Institute in Transnational Law. The fellowship will fund four more conferences on the subject over the next two years in Tokyo, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, and at Duke University, respectively, with each attended by a core group of U.S. and international scholars as well as regional experts, jurists, and policymakers. The project will culminate in the publication of a book offering global scholarly perspectives on foreign relations law, as well as theoretical and methodological analysis of the topic and the tensions within it and concrete suggestions for improvements. Bradley will also develop a seminar on comparative foreign relations law to be concurrently or jointly taught at Duke Law School and at various foreign institutions.

Foreign relations law is domestic law that governs how a nation interacts with other countries and with international institutions, and how it incorporates international law into its legal system. It encompasses such topics as the making of treaties and other agreements, the role of domestic courts in applying international law, the delegation of “sovereignty” to international regulatory and enforcement institutions, and the process for deciding whether to use military force or participate in collective security.  It also implicates basic issues of democratic accountability, Bradley said, as it affects both the decision-making authority that can be transferred to institutions that may lack a direct connection to the nation’s citizenry, as well as the internal distribution of authority between the executive and legislative branches of the government. These are topics of frequent public debate in the United States, noted Bradley.

“During the past year, for example, there has been substantial controversy over President Obama’s domestic authority to conclude an agreement with Iran concerning its nuclear program, as well as his authority to wage a military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,” he said. To date, there has been little effort to consider foreign relations law systematically from a comparative perspective beyond the United States and Western Europe, although many democracies face similar accountability questions. Doing so, he said, will yield valuable insights into how decision-making can be effectively structured in a manner that respects basic constitutional values.

“The Andrew Carnegie Fellowship Program facilitates a uniquely broad study of these critical questions,” said Bradley. “My hope is that by drawing international scholars and officials together to talk about common topics, and with the development of a seminar and course materials, the project will contribute both to deepening foreign relations law as a field of study around the world, and to establishing comparative foreign relations law as a new field.”

Duke Law School Dean David F. Levi called Bradley’s receipt of the Carnegie fellowship, one of the most prestigious and generous fellowships to advance research in the social sciences and humanities, a tremendous honor.

“Curt Bradley is an extremely accomplished and insightful scholar in the field of foreign relations law, and his proposal promises to create a new and valuable field of scholarship and inquiry,” said Levi. “This fellowship provides a well-deserved opportunity to extend his research and writing as well as his influence." 

Bradley is the founding co-director of Duke Law School’s Center for International and Comparative Law and serves on the executive board of Duke's Center on Law, Ethics, and National Security. He serves as a Reporter on the American Law Institute's multi-year Restatement project on The Foreign Relations Law of the United States. He is the author a leading casebook on U.S. foreign relations law and numerous other books and articles, most recently serving as editor of Custom's Future: International Law in a Changing World (Cambridge University Press, 2016). His scholarship has been cited in more than 50 judicial decisions.