Charles Myers


Group Publisher, Social Sciences, and Senior Editor for Political Science and Law at Princeton University Press

 179 41 William St.



I am Group Publisher, Social Sciences, and Senior Editor for Political Science and Law at Princeton University Press. I acquire books in politics and law for Princeton. My focus is on acquiring books on constitutional law, American legal institutions, international law, and the relationship between law and social problems.

Turning to my research (when I have time to do this), I wrote my dissertation on the World Bank and their programs promoting rule of law and governance. I sought in my dissertation to understand why this formally apolitical institution took up a political agenda. I showed how the Bank used the language of economics to turn rule of law and governance into a technical, largely economic set of issues. I also argued that this way of understanding governance problems as well as political pressures on the Bank made it very difficult for the Bank to contribute very much to progress on governance questions.

I have also begun to work on the question of the ethical obligations of policy experts and advisors at institutions like the World Bank for the efficacy of their policy advice. It seems to me that many of the policy solutions pushed by organizations like the World Bank particularly in dealing with questions of governance do not in the end work out very well either because they are not well designed for many of the situations in which they are to be implemented or implementation is faulty. What are the obligations of policy experts to carefully think about the real conditions in which policy ideas will be implemented before such ideas are made a condition of loans or grants? To what extent should countries have some discretion in designing their own solutions to governance questions? To whom does the policy expert owe a duty of care, to put it in more legalistic terms? I am exploring the literature in bioethics and in law about the obligations of professionals to their clients to develop a notion of what standards we might hold policy experts to in developing policy advice.

I previously was in private law practice doing litigation, international trade law (for the American steel industry), and securities and pension law. I also was in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C for three years. I received a JD and and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan.