Gillian K. Hadfield - "Rules for a Flat World" - James Robinson

Monday, November 7, 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Gillian K. Hadfield discusses Rules for a Flat World: Why Humans Invented Law & How to Reinvent It for a Complex Global Economy. She will be joined in conversation by James Robinson.

At the Co-op

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About the book: The ground is shifting beneath our feet. Technology and globalization continue to uproot and reshape daily life and economics. Global supply chains are growing more deeply embedded in every region of the world. Digital platforms connect billions around the planet in ever more complex networks of data and exchange. In 2005, Thomas Friedman reduced these phenomena to one phrase, the title of his massively successful book: The World is Flat.

The flat world is one of tremendous possibility, but it also poses new challenges to stability and shared prosperity. How will we come up with the new rules we need to make sure we continue to innovate and grow but also become a fairer, safer, and more inclusive global community? Law and economics professor Gillian K. Hadfield picks up where Friedman's book left off, peeling back the technological layer to look at the rule systems that guide global integration-our legal infrastructure-and argues that our existing approaches to making rules are no longer working. They are not only too slow, costly, and localized for increasingly complex advanced economies. Our rules also fail to address looming challenges such as poverty, instability, and oppression for the four billion living in poor and developing countries, largely outside of any formal legal framework.

Following a rich and sweeping overview of the long-term evolution of social rules that made complex human societies and economic interdependence possible, Hadfield makes the case for building a more agile market-based and globally-oriented legal infrastructure. Combining an impressive grasp of contemporary economic globalization with an ambitious re-envisioning of our global legal system, Rules for a Flat World will transform our understanding of how to best achieve a more sustainable and vibrant global economy.

About the author: Gillian K. Hadfield is the Richard L. and Antoinette Schamoi Kirtland Professor of Law and Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California and the Daniel R. Fischel and Sylvia M. Neil Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. She studies the design of legal and dispute resolution systems; contracting; and the performance and regulation of legal markets and the legal profession. Her recent work focuses on the innovation and design of legal institutions and regulations to promote access to justice and economic growth in both advanced and developing countries. Her book, Rules for a Flat World: Why Humans Invented Law and How to Reinvent It for a Complex Global Economy, has just been published by Oxford University Press.

Professor Hadfield holds a B.A.H. from Queen’s University, a J.D. from Stanford Law School and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University. She served as clerk to Chief Judge Patricia Wald on the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit. She has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Columbia, NYU, and Hastings law schools, a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution. She is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on the Future of Technology, Values and Policy, former director of the American Law and Economics Association and of the International Society for New Institutional Economics, and past president of the Canadian Law and Economics Association.

About the interlocutor: James Robinson is the Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies and University Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago and faculty director of the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts. He is the author (with Daron Acemoglu) of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (Crown 2013). His main research interests are in comparative economic and political development with a focus on the long-run with a particular interest in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. He is currently conducting research in Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Haiti and in Colombia where he has taught for many years during the summer at the University of the Andes in Bogotá.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637