Matthew S. Erie, Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Studies, has been awarded a 2018 SSRC Transregional Research Junior Scholar Fellowship in the amount of $42,000 for his project “Illiberal Law and Development: China and the World.”
Professor Erie’s project was one of 14 selected out of an initial pool of more than 130 eligible preliminary pre-proposals. The Fellowship will fund Professor Erie’s research on the role of law in China’s cross-border investment and finance projects and, further, explore what this may tell us about law and development. The hypothesis is that law may matter, but not in the way liberal legalism prescribes. Rather than conceptualizing China’s impacts as one of model imposition, China’s omnipresence in development demonstrates a convergence with protectionism, nativism, and dedemocratization in the U.S., U.K., and the EU, the proponents of law and development in yesteryears. To understand this convergence, this project introduces a novel heuristic: legal hubs, sub-national jurisdictions with concentrations of legal services and a variety of dispute resolution mechanisms that function to facilitate cross-border transactions. The project examines the emergence of interAsian legal hubs, which are orienting their legal services towards (or from within) China, as windows into the evolving landscape of dispute resolution under international commercial law.