Academic Year 2009-2010
Benedict Kingsbury is Murry and Ida Becker Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for International Law and Justice at New York University School of Law (iilj.org). With Richard Stewart, he initiated and directs the IILJ's Global Administrative Law Research Project, a pioneering approach to issues of accountability, transparency, participation and review in global governance. He also directs NYU Law School's Program in the History and Theory of International Law, with Robert Howse and Global Professor Martti Koskenniemi; and served as Chair of the Law School's Graduate Division 2007-09. He is a New Zealand citizen. Kingsbury previously held a permanent teaching position at Oxford University (where he earlier completed an M.Phil in International Relations and a D.Phil in Law), and has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the University of Tokyo Law Faculty, the University of Padua, and the University of Paris-I (Pantheon-Sorbonne). Kingsbury's research and publications reflect a commitment to a broad, theoretically-grounded approach to international law, closely integrating work in legal theory, political theory, history, and global governance.
Indicators as a Technology of Global Governance
Benedict Kingsbury’s research will focus on developing, and then applying, a theoretical account of which entities in global governance should be regarded as public entities, and thus as subject to the procedural requirements of the emerging global administrative law (transparency, due process, reason-giving, etc). Such entities are subject to GAL requirements, but on the same grounds they also receive a certain deference from other actors in global governance. These other actors give legal effect to, or at least give legal weight to, their substantive administrative legal actions (for example, if an injured skater sues a skating rink, and the skating rink’s defense is that it complied with the design and safety standards of the international skating association, what weight should a national court give to those standards?).
Law – especially public law -- has in many national societies a distinct normative quality of publicness, which refers to the claim of law to stand in the name of the whole society and to speak to that whole society even when any particular rule may in fact be addressed to narrower groups. Publicness can be given more precise meaning by distilling public law values from different national and international traditions: legality, rationality, proportionality, rule of law, etc. It will be argued that adherence to these components of publicness is increasingly required for international and transnational bodies setting norms and affecting individuals in global governance. A wider theoretical idea is that international law is increasingly becoming the law not simply among states, but among such public entities: that is, international law is inter-public law. This research will apply these ideas to specific problems in global governance. Some parts on global administrative law will likely be co-authored with Richard Stewart.
A second project concerns the production, use and significance of indicators, particular quantitative ordinal rankings, as a technology of global governance. This project on Global Governance Through Indicators brings together social scientists, normative theorists, and public lawyers. Benedict Kingsbury’s work uses global administrative law ideas to consider who participates in or should influence the production and use of particular indicators, how this power should be channeled and controlled, and other strategies such as resistance, gaming and creation of counter-indicators.