Seminar in the Law of Nationbuilding

Spring, 2005

Course description

The seminar will meet on Tuesdays, 4:00-5:50 pm, and is worth 2 credits. Prof. Perritt will be the main instructor for the course. The course number is 678-071.

Students enrolled in this seminar will select paper topics through discussions with the instructors and other students. It is contemplated that some students will focus on Cuba, as explained in the following paragraphs. Other students may focus on Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and other recent examples of international “political trusteeships.” Students also may focus on insurgencies, such as the Kosovo Liberation Army in Kosovo, insurgencies in Afghanistan and Mexico and Al Qaeda. All students will be expected to interact with each other and to explore literature of common interest to the several topics.

Within the Law of Nationbuilding Seminar, there will be a section looking at Law and the Market.

Cuban Interest Section: Law and The Market

This group will focus on Cuba and may take a trip to Cuba during Spring Break. The goal of this group is to explore alternative perspectives on the rule of law and its place in maintaining and facilitating markets. As one of the world's last remaining command economies, Cuba offers a unique perspective on the problems and challenges facing the many societies currently or forseeably facing a transition to a market economy within the contemporary global context. We will examine a range of issues relating to the creation and manipulation of different kinds of ‘markets’ for food systems, education, and healthcare, as well as evaluate the role of law and particular pieces of legislation as a prelude to political reform (e.g.,The Helms-Burton Act). Readings will involve an historical overview of economic interpretations of the law ranging from Marx to current Law & Economics philosophy. Theoretical readings will be combined with cases involving statutory law and international treaty, using the cases as vehicles to discuss the theories. Emphasis will be on the role of law and its relation to markets, the role of the state in creating markets, and, by comparing socialist and ‘free market’ approaches to organizing economic activity, we will look at how law is utilized as a tool for development, sustainable growth, and support of life systems.