PUBLISHED:April 22, 2010

CICL’s “scholarship roundtables” help shape works in progress

The Center for International and Comparative Law (CICL) hosted two interdisciplinary scholarship roundtables at the Law School in the 2009-2010 academic year.

“The Law and Politics of International Cooperation” was the theme of the invitation-only forum in November at which fifteen scholars discussed eight works in progress.

A gathering in January, titled “Opting Out of Customary International Law,” explored the broader themes developed in a paper on that topic authored by Duke Law professors Mitu Gulati and Curtis A. Bradley, the Horvitz Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy Studies, and co-director of CICL (read about Gulati and Bradley's paper).

Laurence Helfer, Duke’s Harry R. Chadwick, Sr. Professor of Law and CICL co-director, plans to host two or three roundtables each year on a diverse range of topics.

“The roundtables provide an intimate forum for a small group of legal scholars and social scientists to travel to Duke to discuss their works in progress and receive detailed commentary and feedback from their colleagues,” he says. The format encourages in-depth analysis and discussion, he adds. The assigned commentator (not the author) briefly introduces the paper and raise questions. The remaining hour of each session is devoted to an in-depth review of the paper by the group.

Helfer envisions the roundtable series as way to “introduce junior scholars in international law to their more established colleagues, and to promote new collaborations among scholars who study international cooperation in such disciplines as law, political science, and economics, among others.”