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CSLS Speaker Series – SHAINA POTTS

Monday, March 12, 2018 @ 12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

The Center for the Study of Law and Society
is pleased to announce the next talk in the Spring 2018 CSLS Speaker Series,


Shaina Potts is Assistant Professor of Geography and of Global Studies at University of California, Los Angeles


She will be speaking on her paper
“The Politics of the ‘Private’: U.S. Law and the Judicialization of Sovereign Debt Relations”


Since the 1950s, US courts have exercised increasing authority over transnational economic relations involving foreign governments. This has been enabled most importantly by the restriction of the act of state doctrine and foreign sovereign immunity and the development of commercial exceptions to each. In this paper I argue that this history is best understood in the context of broader processes of judicialization; the mechanism for transferring these transnational cases to the judiciary has been precisely the reclassification of acts previously considered “public” and “political” as “commercial,” “private” and therefore properly “legal.”  Judicialization scholars to date have been prevented from seeing this by a tendency to methodological nationalism and by the assumption that economic matters are by definition not political. Transnational commercial law scholars have been similarly limited by the latter, which has supported a narrative about the development of commercial law that has tended to overlook its geopolitical context and functions. This paper aims to address these gaps and to contribute to a deeper understanding of changing modalities of US power and global governance since World War II.


Please join us on Monday, March 12 from 12:45-2:00p in the Philip Selznick Seminar Room, 2240 Piedmont Ave.

Coffee and water are provided. We invite you to bring your own “bag lunch.”

We are looking forward to seeing you soon!


Jonathan Simon, Faculty Director
Rosann Greenspan, Executive Director


Monday, March 12, 2018
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Center for the Study of Law and Society


Philip Selznick Seminar Room
2240 Piedmont Ave
Berkeley, CA 94720-2150 United States
+ Google Map

Events are wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodations, contact the organizer of the event. Advance notice is kindly requested.

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