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Dr Sara Dezalay

Senior Lecturer in International Relations

School of Law and Politics

Email:
dezalays@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4984
Location:
3.11, Law Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Available for postgraduate supervision

I am a Senior Lecturer at the Cardiff School of Law and Politics. My work focuses on the role of law and lawyers in global governance. Anchored in political sociology, my research looks at transnational judicial responses to conflict; the relationship between law and diplomacy in global governance; and the position of Africa in globalization.

I am a member of the Cardiff Law and Global Justice Centre and the Centre of Law and Society

Parallel to my position at the Cardiff School of Law and Politics, I am a Visiting Fellow at King's College London, a Senior Research Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs in Toronto, and an Affiliate researcher at the Cluster of Excellence 'The formation of normative orders' at the Goethe Universität, Frankfurt.

I am  on the editorial boards of the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding; and Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales

See my latest contribution in the media (25 November 2018): http://www.rfi.fr/emission/20181125-cpi-cour-penale-internationale-discreditee-justice-genocides-crimes-humanite

Education and qualifications

2011 - PhD of Laws of the Department of Law of the European University Institute, Florence

2006 - Master of Research of Laws of the European University Institute of Florence

2005 - Master of Research in Political Science of International Relations, Institute of Political Sciences of Paris, France, with distinction

2004 - M.A. of the Institute of Political Sciences of Paris, France

2002 - M.A. of Law, Major in public and international law. University Panthéon-Assas, Paris II, France

2001 - B.A. of Law University Panthéon-Assas, Paris II, France

Career Overview

Current appointments

August 2018 Promoted to the rank of Senior Lecturer in Law and International Relations, Cardiff School of Law and Politics, United Kingdom

March 2018 Elected member of the editorial board of Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales

Sept. 2016-     Lecturer in Law and International Relations, Cardiff School of Law and Politics, United Kingdom

2016-               Associate Researcher, Cluster of Excellence ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’, Goethe Universität, Frankfurt, Germany

2016-               Visiting Fellow, Dickson Poon Transnational Law Institute, Kings College London

2016-2019 Senior Researcher, Global Justice Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

2013-2016       Research Fellow, Cluster of Excellence ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’, Goethe Universität, Frankfurt, Germany

2014-              Assistant editor Journal of intervention and state building

2002-               Free-lance translator (English-French) of academic and policy publications

Previous appointments

2015-2016       Member of the Organizing Committee of the Law and Society Annual Meeting

2014-2015       Guest Lecturer at the Goethe Universität (Winter)

2011-2013       Postdoctoral fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

2011-2013       Guest lecturer at the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (Fall)

2012                Guest lecturer at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (Spring)

2009-2011       Fixed term lecturer and researcher (Attachée temporaire d’enseignement et de recherches -A.T.E.R.) at the Institute of Political Sciences of Lille, France

2010-2011      Guest lecturer at the HEC School of management of Paris

2009-2011      Guest lecturer at the Institute of Political Sciences of Paris (Sciences-Po)

2007                Visiting doctoral researcher at the Hauser Global Law Program of New York University (Fall)

2006-2009       Research assistant of Prof. W. Sadurski, Law Department, European University Institute

2005-2011 Doctoral Researcher at the European University Institute

Honours and awards

Prizes and distinctions

2012 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Program of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada

2011-2013 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, University of Toronto

2006 Finalist, European Law Moot Court Competition

1996 Grantee of the Strasburg Prize (Proficiency in German)

Research grants

2016-2020 British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants, 2016 Round (£9000) for the project “Who gets on the bench? Constitutional judges and the judicialisation of politics in Sub-Saharan Africa”

2013-2015 Annual research grant (EUR 5 000), Cluster of excellence ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’, Goethe Universität

2012-2013 Research grant (CAD 15 000) funded by the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies for the project “The professional and social structure of international criminal justice”

2008-2009 Annual doctoral grant, European University Institute

2005-2008 Annual doctoral grants, ÉGIDE (French ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Professional memberships

Promotion of research

2016- Creator and convener of “Extractive Resources in Africa: Transnational Law, Markets and Contests”, network of over 70 researchers and practitioners in law, political economy, anthropology and social geography across Europe, Africa, and North America. Submitted as a new “COST Action” (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) in December 2016

2015- Co-creator and convener, with Swethaa Ballakrishnen of an IRC (International Research Collaboration) Invisible institutionalisms. What can we see when we are looking? Law and Society Association and Research Committee on the Sociology of Law

2014- Co-creator and convener, with Wesley Pue of the Sub-Group “Lawyers and Legal Imperialism(s),” International Working Group for Comparative Studies of Legal Professions, Research Committee on Sociology of Law, International Sociological Association

Membership of academic and professional networks

2015- Association des chercheurs de Politique africaine (ACPA, association of researchers on African politics)

2014- Research committee on sociology of law, International Sociological Association.

2008- Law and Society Association

2008-2011 GIRAF (Groupe d’initiative et de recherche sur l’Afrique), doctoral and post-doctoral research network, Université Paris I-Sorbonne

2006-2010 CNRS Research Group ‘Face aux crises extrêmes’ (Responding to Extreme Crises) GDR 2651, University Paris I-Sorbonne

2006- TJ Network – Network of Transitional Justice Researchers

Academic positions

Current appointments

Sept. 2016-     Lecturer in Law and International Relations, Cardiff School of Law and Politics, United Kingdom

2016-               Associate Researcher, Cluster of Excellence ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’, Goethe Universität, Frankfurt, Germany

2016-               Visiting Fellow, Dickson Poon Transnational Law Institute, Kings College London

2016-2019 Senior Researcher, Global Justice Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

2013-2016       Research Fellow, Cluster of Excellence ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’, Goethe Universität, Frankfurt, Germany

2014-              Assistant editor Journal of intervention and state building

2002-               Free-lance translator (English-French) of academic and policy publications

Previous appointments

2015-2016       Member of the Organizing Committee of the Law and Society Annual Meeting

2014-2015       Guest Lecturer at the Goethe Universität (Winter)

2011-2013       Postdoctoral fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

2011-2013       Guest lecturer at the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (Fall)

2012                Guest lecturer at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (Spring)

2009-2011       Fixed term lecturer and researcher (Attachée temporaire d’enseignement et de recherches -A.T.E.R.) at the Institute of Political Sciences of Lille, France

2010-2011      Guest lecturer at the HEC School of management of Paris

2009-2011      Guest lecturer at the Institute of Political Sciences of Paris (Sciences-Po)

2007                Visiting doctoral researcher at the Hauser Global Law Program of New York University (Fall)

2006-2009       Research assistant of Prof. W. Sadurski, Law Department, European University Institute

2005-2011 Doctoral Researcher at the European University Institute

Speaking engagements

International conferences and annual congresses (most recent)

2017 With Peter Brett, “Who gets on the bench? Constitutional judges and the judicialisation of politics in Sub-Saharan Africa,” 7th European Conference on African Studies ECAS, Basel (29 June-2 July)

2017 “Building a political sociology of legal professions on the African continent: stakes for an open research agenda,” “New Lawyers in Society panels” (coord. by R. Abel, O. Hammarslev, H. Sommerlad and U. Schultz), Law and society Annual Meeting, Mexico City (June 20-23)

2017 With Ron Levi and Philip Kastner “Responses to Mass Violence: Managing the Tension between the Universal and the Particular,” Law and society Annual Meeting, Mexico City (June 20-23)

2017 Roundtable panelist “Global pro bono: Diffusion, contestation, learned lessons” (coord. by F. de sa e Silva and L. Trubek), Law and society Annual Meeting, Mexico City (June 20-23)

2016 “African extractive economies and connected histories of globalization. A case-study of the ‘Africa’ Bar in Paris,” Law and Society Conference, Cape Town (9-11 December)

2016 “Building a political sociology of legal professions in Africa: stakes for an open research agenda,” African Studies Association United-Kingdom, Biennal Conference (September 7-9)

2016 “A case-study of the Africa Corporate Bar in Paris,” International Working Group on the Legal Professions, Bi-annual meeting, Andorra (6-9 July)

2016 “A case-study of the Africa corporate legal bar in Paris,” Law and Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans (June 1-5)

Other conferences and workshops (most recent)

2017 “Weakness as routine in the operations of the International Criminal Court”, Bangor University Criminology seminar (25 October)

2017 “Legal professions in Burundi” and “Legal professions on the African continent” at Conference Lawyers In Society 30 Years On, Onati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, (11-14 September)

2017 With Peter Brett, “Who gets on the bench? Constitutional judges and the judicialisation of politics

in sub-Saharan Africa,” Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference, Newcastle University (5-7 April)

2017 “Extractive resources in Africa: transnational law, markets and contests. Stakes for a renewed research agenda,” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 25thAnniversary Conference, Indiana University Maurer School of Law (23-24 March)

2016 Panel chair “Labour Regulation in Global Supply Chains: Ethnography, Advocacy, Campaigning and Critical Pedagogy,” Transnational Law Institute, King’s College London (10-11 November)

2016 “Natural resources, law and Africa in globalization: stakes for an open research agenda,” Conference Law between Global and Colonial: Techniques of Empire, University of Helsinki, (3-5 October)

2016 “Professionals of international justice. From the shadow of state-diplomacy to the pull of the market for commercial arbitration,” Workshop “Trust, Social Capital and Networks: A different perspective on international courts,” iCourts, Centre of Excellence for International Courts, University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law (31 March-1 April)

2016 “Lawyers, extractive economies and transformations of the state in Africa,” Conference “Sovereignty:
Frontiers, Engagements and Prospects of a Contested Concept,” The Transnational Law Institute at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London (March, 17-18)

2016 Contribution to Workshop “African Courts: Actors, institutional developments and governance II,” Centre de la Gouvernance démocatique, Ouagadougou (20-23 February)

Committees and reviewing

2016 - present: Cardiff School of Law and Politics academic contact point for the Cardiff-Bordeaux Joint Degree Diploma (Department of Politics, Cardiff University/Institut d’études politiques of Bordeaux)

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2012

2011

2008

2007

2005

Undergraduate module “International Law in a changing world

Undergraduate module Colonialism, GPE and Development

Post-graduate module Just War, Humanitarian Intervention and Global Justice

Current research projects

My research deploys an approach that emphasizes the ‘interconnectedness’ (to use Sanjay Subrahmanyam’s concept) of the international and national dimensions of legal globalization. I use this broad focus to emphasize how current legal transformations build out of longer trends and interconnections between international and national spaces. I focus particularly on the way contests between human rights, politics and economics are translated into legal disputes and institutional developments. In this research, I adopt a micro-level approach focused on professional practices to trace the production and circulation of legal knowledge across different transnational and national levels.

My empirical work connects multiple and complementary scales of analysis: the evolution of transnational adjudication practices (1), the relations between law and diplomacy in the expansion of international justice (2) and the impact of legal globalization on law and institutions in the African South (3).

(1) Law and diplomacy in the expansion of international justice

This aspect of my research traces circulations and cross-pollination dynamics between transnational practices of conflict management variously institutionalized as state adjudication, commercial and investment arbitration and human rights justice. It puts the agents invested in international justice and their practices at the forefront: its cue is that far from being a side phenomenon, the professional assets accumulated collectively by these agents contribute to shaping the space of international justice, both in terms of its potential markets and its social credibility.

Key publications include:

1. (2017) “Professionals of international justice. From the shadow of state diplomacy to the pull of the market of arbitration,” with the contribution of Yves Dezalay, in A. Nollkaemper, J. d’Aspremont, W. Werner and T. Gazzini (eds.), International Law as a Profession, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press

2. (2008) With Ron Levi and John Hagan, Pacify and Punish (2). The Force of International Law and the Peace Market (in French: Pacifier et Punir (2). La force du droit international et le marché de la paix) Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 174(4), 112 p. and Pacify and Punish (1). War crimes and the international juridical order (in French: Pacifier et Punir (1). Les crimes de guerre et l’ordre juridique international), Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 173(3), 128 p.

(2) International criminal justice and contested expertise on conflict resolution and peace-building

In this aspect of my work, I look at the debated unevenness of international justice, and the variable authority of regimes and institutions of international dispute settlement. I connect the revival of international justice from the 1990s to parallel and earlier developments in national fields of power and in transformations of policy expertise on the state, the role of law in development and international practices of intervention.

Key publications include:

1. (2017) With Ron Levi and Michael Amiraslani, “Prosecutorial Strategies and Opening Statements: Justifying International Prosecutions from the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg through to the International Criminal Court,” Comparativ: Journal for Global History and Comparative Social Science, 26, pp. 58-72

2. (2016) “Weakness as routine in the operations of the International Criminal Court,” International Criminal Law Review, 17, pp. 1-21

3. (2016) “Responding to crises. Managing crises through instruments: from the European Commission to justice reforms in Burundi” (in French: Répondre aux crises? Dynamiques de “gestion des crises” par l’instrument: de la Commission européenne aux réformes de la justice au Burundi”) Gouvernement & action publique, 5(2), pp. 31-50

4. (2016) With Ron Levi and John Hagan, “International Courts in Atypical Political Environments: The Interplay of Prosecutorial Strategy, Evidence, and Court Authority in International Criminal Law,” Law and Contemporary Problems, 78(4), pp. 289-314

(3) Lawyers in Africa

This aspect of my work focuses on globalization dynamics on the African continent. The background of this research stems from the contrasting discourses and knowledge gaps, in academia and policy accounts, on law and politics in the continent. The high profile of International Criminal Court prosecutions against African dictators and warlords, massive rule of law investments in conflict and post-conflict situations, as much as the formidable stakes of natural resources in the continent taint Africa with the image of a new political, economic and legal frontier. Yet, there is a dearth of knowledge on the ways these new patterns of globalization fit in the longue durée of earlier developments, including colonization. For this purpose, I have developed a deliberate field-building strategy to further knowledge and collaborations on the transformation of the position of Africa in globalization.

Key publications include:

1. (2019) “Legal professions on the African continent”, in H. Sommerlad, R. Abel, U. Schultz & O. Hammerslev (eds.), Lawyers In Society 30 Years On, Hart Publishing

2. (2019) “Legal Professions in Burundi,” in H. Sommerlad, R. Abel, U. Schultz & O. Hammerslev (eds.), Lawyers In Society 30 Years On, Hart Publishing

3. (2017) “Lawyers’ Empire in the (African) colonial margins”, International journal of the legal profession, 24(1), pp. 25-32

4. (2015) “Lawyers in Africa: between trajectories of the state, imperial legacies and globalization” (in French: “Les juristes en Afrique: entre trajectoires d’État, sillons d’empire et mondialisation”), Introduction to Juristes, Faiseurs d’État, Politique africaine, 138, pp. 5-23

5. (2015) With Juliana Lima, “The cause of transitional justice in post-conflict Burundi” (in French: “La cause de la justice de transition dans le Burundi de l’après-conflit”), Critique internationale 67(2), pp. 51-65

My work spans Law and Society scholarship and Political Sociology of International relations.

I am part of the South, West & Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (https://www.sww-ahdtp.ac.uk/supervisors/dr-sara-dezalay/). 

I am particularly interested in supervising the work of PG students wishing to research the following topics:

  • Humanitarian intervention and conflict resolution
  • Global justice and the International Criminal Court
  • Legal professions, state transformations and globalization
  • Extractive resources and international dispute settlement mechanisms
  • Global value chains and international law

Current supervision

Abubakar Alkali

Research student

Oliver Pierce

Research student