Sep 27
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
On the Regulatory Geography of Modern Capitalism: Putting Rule of Law in its Place

On the Regulatory Geography of Modern Capitalism: Putting Rule of Law in its Place

Michael Dowdle

Date: September 27, 2019 (Friday)

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Venue: A723, 7/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Language: English



‘Rule of Law’, in the Razian / Fullerian sense of the term, is the universal measure for comparing domestic legal systems.  There is no competing paradigm for evaluating the quality of a nation’s legal structure.  In this paper, I use insights from economic geography to argue that this is inappropriate.  Rule of law is only a meaningful measure of the quality of a legal system for what economic geography refers to as ‘core’ industrial societies.  Outside of this core, in what is called the ‘periphery’, regional economic dynamics are such as to generate local economic and social conditions that are antithetical to those necessary for ‘rule of law’ to generate desired regulatory outcomes.  This has radical implications of this for our understanding of the relationship between ‘law and development’ in particular.


About the speaker:

Michael (‘Mike’) Dowdle is a Associate Professor on the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law.  He is also Book Review Editor for the Asian Journal of Comparative Law.  He teaches in the areas of legal theory, comparative legal system, comparative public law, and regulatory geography. His recent publications include the edited volumes, Constitutionalism Beyond Liberalism (CUP, 2017) (with Michael Wilkinson) and Questioning the Foundations of Public Law (Hart, 2018) (also with Michael Wilkinson); and Asian Capitalism and the Regulation of Competition: On the Regulatory Geography of Competition Law (CUP, 2014) (with John Gillespie and Imelda Maher).  He is presently working on a textbook entitled Transnational Law: Texts and Commentary (under contract with CUP). Prior to coming to the National University of Singapore, he held the Chair in Globalization and Governance at Sciences Po.  He was also the Himalayas Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at Qinghua University and a Senior Fellow with the Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet) the Australian National University.  He has twice taught at the Centre for Transnational Legal Studies in London as a visiting professor.  



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