Laura Dickinson, University of Connecticut Law & LAPA Fellow

Outsourcing War and Peace

Mon, 05/07/2007
4:30 - 6:00 PM, 105 Chancellor Green Hall
Event Category: 

Our paper-giver this week is Laura Dickinson, who has been with us as a LAPA fellow this year and who is also a Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law. She will presenting parts of the book she has written this year at LAPA, a book called Outsourcing War and Peace. The book examines the increasing frequency with which foreign policy functions of states have been contracted out to private entities, whose legal status is unclear. She analyzes the increasing privatization of military functions, foreign aid, and diplomacy, the impact of such privatization on the efficacy of international human rights law, and considers the possibility that alternative mechanisms (such as contract, tort, and trust) could be used to help ensure accountability over private actors working abroad under government contracts. As you will see, Dickinson’s work is timely, important and insightful. Her commentator will be Peter Spiro, inaugural holder of Charles R. Weiner Professorship in international law at the Temple University, Beasley School of Law.

Laura A. Dickinson has taught at the University of Connecticut School of Law since 2001. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, she subsequently served as a senior policy adviser to Harold Hongju Koh, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the U.S. Department of State. In addition, she served as a law clerk to Justices Harry A. Blackmun and Stephen G. Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court, and to Judge Dorothy Nelson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Dickinson's work has focused on transitional justice, legal responses to terror, foreign affairs privatization, and the interrelationship between international and domestic law. Dickinson is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and co-organizer of a Collaborative Research Network on Empirical Approaches to International Human Rights Law, convened under the auspices of the Law & Society Association.

Peter J. Spiro joined the faculty of Temple University, Beasley School of Law in the fall of 2006 as the inaugural holder of Charles R. Weiner Professorship in international law. Spiro is a former law clerk to Justice David H. Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He has also served as director for democracy on the staff of the National Security Council, as an attorney-adviser in the U.S. Department of State's Office of the Legal Adviser and as a resident associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Spiro holds a B.A. from Harvard College and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He specializes in international law, the constitutional aspects of U.S. foreign relations, and immigration and nationality law. In addition to extensive scholarship in law reviews, he contributed analysis to such publications as Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal and The New Republic. In 2003, he was ranked as a member of the top 20 in a survey of the academic citation frequency of legal scholars entering the field since 1992. He is a regular contributor to the leading international law blog Opinio Juris.

For more on Laura Dickinson, see her LAPA page.

For more on Peter J. Spiro, see his profile page at Temple University, Beasley School of Law here.

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