Bryan Druzin is Associate Professor of law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong where he teaches analytical jurisprudence and legal philosophy. He has held teaching positions at King’s College London and Brunel University London. He holds a B.A., LL.B., and LL.M. from the University of British Columbia and a PhD in law from King’s College London. He is former Director of the Faculty’s LLM Programmes and is a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Law, Conflict and Crisis (CILG) at the University of Copenhagen.
Dr. Druzin is a specialist in legal theory. He has published widely with leading U.S. law schools (Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, Georgetown, UPenn, etc.), noted peer-reviewed journals, and has contributed to several edited volumes published by Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press. His work focuses on the decentralized emergence of law and governance. He has written on a range of topics in this area, from the self-ordering potential of international law to the evolution of social norms, rights, and institutions. His scholarship draws from rational choice theory, path dependence, and the study of networks.
Dr. Druzin is the 2015 recipient of the CU Research Excellence Award, which provided extensive financial support for his research. His current research asks whether it is possible to strengthen global governance by harnessing the mechanics of self-organization.
AREAS OF INTEREST
- Legal Theory
- Law and Norms
- International Legal Theory
- The Limits of Law as an Instrument of Normative Change, 87 VIRGINIA JOURNAL OF SOCIAL POLICY & THE LAW (2023) (forthcoming)
- Rights, Power, and Inequality, 78 OKLAHOMA LAW REVIEW (2023) (forthcoming)
- Can the Liberal Order be Sustained? Nations, Network Effects, and the Erosion of Global Institutions, 42 MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 1 (2021).
- Tipping Points and the Formation of the European Union: Birth, Brexit, and Beyond, 27 COLUMBIA JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN LAW 68 (2021).
- Institutional Lock-in within the Field of International Investment Arbitration, 39 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 101 (2018).
- Authoritarianism and the Internet, 43(4) LAW & SOCIAL INQUIRY 1427 (2018).
- Escaping the Logic of Anarchy: A New Model of Collective Security, 19 CARDOZO JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION 565 (2018).
- The Coming Collapse of the Paris Agreement, 45 HARVARD JOURNAL ON LEGISLATION (2017) (online).
- Towards a Theory of Spontaneous Legal Standardization, 8 JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL DISPUTE SETTLEMENT 403 (2017).
- The Parched Earth of Cooperation: How to solve the Tragedy of the Commons in International Environmental Governance, 27 DUKE JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE AND INTERNATIONAL LAW 73 (2016).
- Censorship’s Fragile Grip on the Internet: Can Online Speech be Controlled? 49 CORNELL INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL 369 (2016).
- A Plan to Strengthen the Paris Climate Agreement, 84 FORDHAM LAW REVIEW 101 (2016) (online).
- Why does Soft Law have any Power anyway? 7 ASIAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 361 (2016).
- The Art of Nailing Jell-o to the Wall: Reassessing the Political Power of the Internet, 24 JOURNAL OF LAW & POLICY 1 (2016).
- Using Social Norms as a Substitute for Law, 78 ALBANY LAW REVIEW 67 (2016).
- The Power of the Keystroke: Is Social Media the Radical Democratizing Force we’ve been led to believe it is? HARVARD HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL (2015) (online).
- The Theatre of Punishment: Case Studies in the Political Function of Corporal and Capital Punishment, 14 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY GLOBAL STUDIES LAW REVIEW 357 (2015).
- Myth meets Reality: Civil Disobedience in the Age of the Internet, VIRGINIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (2015) (online).
- Anarchy, Order, and Trade: A structuralist Account of why a global Commercial Legal Order is emerging, 47 VANDERBILT JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL LAW 1049 (2014).
- Restraining the Hand of Law: A conceptual Framework to shrink the Size of Law, 117 W. VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW 100 (2014).
- Planting Seeds of Order: How the State can create, shape, and use Customary Law, 28 BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF PUBLIC LAW 373 (2014).
- Opening the Machinery of Private Order: Public International Law as a Form of Private Ordering, 58 SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL 423 (2014).
- Eating Peas with one’s Fingers: A Semiotic Approach to Law and Norms, 26 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR THE SEMIOTICS OF LAW 257 (2013).
- The Criminalization of Lying: Under what Circumstances, if any, should Lies be made criminal?, 101 JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY 529 (2011) (Northwestern University).
- Law, Selfishness, and Signals: An Expansion of Posner’s Signaling Theory of Social Norms, 24 CANADIAN JOURNAL OF LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE 5 (2011).
- Law without the State: The Theory of High Engagement and the Emergence of Spontaneous Legal Order within Commercial Systems, 41 GEORGETOWN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 559 (2010).
- Buying Commercial Law: Choice of law, Choice of Forum, and Network Effect, 18 TULANE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL & COMPARATIVE LAW 131 (2009).
Published Conference Papers
- The Drip, Drip of Depletion: Solving the Tragedy of the Commons in Global Water Usage, in The Regulation of the Global Water Services Market (Julien Chaisse, ed.): Cambridge University Press (2017), 242-260.
- Breaking the Market Dominance of ICSID? An Assessment of the Likelihood of Institutional Competition, in Asia’s Changing International Investment Regime: Sustainability, Regionalization, and Arbitration (Julien Chaisse, ed.): Springer (2017), 243-260 (co-authored with Andrea K. Bjorklund).
- Spontaneous Standardization and the New Lex Maritima, in Oxford International Arbitration Series: The Continued Development of Shipping Law (Miriam Goldby, ed.): Oxford University Press (2016), 63-69.
- From Chaos to Cooperation: Preventing Global Dispute over Resources, in Resolution of Public Disputes and Rights Protection (Michael Palmer & Xiankui Mou, ed.): UK-China Comparative Law Symposium (2015), 51-55 (in Chinese)
- Finding Footing in a Postmodern Conception of Law, in Postmodern Quests in Applied Philosophy (Salman Shaikh, ed.): Editura Lumen (2013), 29-42.
WORKS IN PROGRESS
- Leviathan wakes: The Emergence of Property Rights and the Rule of Law
- Spontaneous Legal Emergence: How to build more stable Treaty Regimes
CONFERENCE PAPERS AND ROUNDTABLES
- “A World unraveling: Can Multilateral Environmental Governance be sustained?” invited to speak at Liberalism and Ecology in the Anthropocene, hosted by the European Society of International Law (ESIL) Interest Group on International Legal Theory and Philosophy at the University of Messina in Messina, Italy (June 2022).
- “Lit Matches and Dry Prairie Fields: The Internet as a Source for Abrupt Normative Change” invited to speak at the 2019 Canadian Law & Economics Conference (CLEA), at The University of Toronto Faculty of Law in Toronto, Canada (September 2019).
- “Digital Lemmings: Internet Control and Herd Behavior” presented at the 15th Annual meeting of the Asian Law and Economics Association (AsLEA), at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand (June 2019).
- “Online Communication, Cyber-speech Cascades, and sudden Changes in Mass Behavior” invited to speak at the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law in Copenhagen, Denmark (June 2019).
- “Does the Return of Great-Power Rivalry mean the end of the Liberal International Economic Order?” invited to present at International Law in Times of Trade Wars and Global Environmental Problems, hosted by the European Society of International Law (ESIL) Interest Group on International Environmental Law at Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia (May 2019).
- “The Possibility of Using Network Effects to Strengthen International Environmental Governance” invited to present at the 2019 Meeting of the Society for Environmental Law and Economics (SELE) at Diego Portales University Faculty of Law in Santiago, Chile (March 2019).
- “Sustaining Multilateral Environmental Agreements in a Period of Shifting Geopolitical Power” invited to speak at the 6th WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS) in Hong Kong (November 2018).
- “The Coming Collapse of International Economic Integration” presented at the Joint North American Conference on International Economic Law, supported by the American Society of International Law (ASIL), the Canadian Council on International Law (CCIL), and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) at McGill University Faculty of Law in Montreal, Canada (September 2018).
- “Networks and Institutional Power” presented at the 14th Annual meeting of the Asian Law and Economics Association (AsLEA), at the Singapore Academy of Law in Singapore (August 2018).
- “Corporate Responsibility and the Limits of Soft Law” invited to present on a panel discussion at the 2018 Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) annual conference in Kyoto, Japan (June 2018).
- “Strengthening International Institutions in a Time of Global Disorder” presented at the European Society of International Law (ESIL) Research Forum at Hebrew University Faculty of Law in Jerusalem, Israel (February 2018).
- “Controlling Public Opinion in the Digital Age” invited to speak at Law and the Digital Age at Qatar University College of Law in Doha, Qatar (February 2018).
- “Escaping Institutional Lock-in” invited to speak at The Future of Asian Trade Deals and IP at Singapore Management University in Singapore (December 2017).
- “The Rise of Soft Law” invited to speak at the 2nd Annual Conference of the French Association of Law and Economics (AFED) at Aix-Marseille University in Marseille, France (November 2017).
- “Toward a Network Model of Soft Law” invited to speak at the 3rd European Conference on Social Networks (EUSN) at Johannes Gutenberg University Institute of Sociology in Mainz, Germany (September 2017).
- “Institutional Lock-In’ within the Field of Investment Arbitration” presented at the Biennial Conference of the Asian Society of International Law (AsianSIL) in Seoul, Korea (August 2017).
- “The US has abandoned the Paris Climate Agreement—is its Collapse now inevitable?” presented at the 13th Annual meeting of the Asian Law and Economics Association (AsLEA) in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (June 2017).
- “Why does Soft Law have Power?” presented at the 27th Annual Meeting of the American Law and Economics Association (ALEA) at Yale Law school in New Haven, United States (May 2017).
- “A Proposal to solve the Tragedy of the Commons in International Environmental Governance” invited to present at the 2017 Meeting of the Society for Environmental Law and Economics (SELE) at Worcester College, University of Oxford in Oxford, United Kingdom (May 2017).
- “Towards a Greater Practice of Investment Arbitration in Asia-Pacific” invited to present on a panel discussion at the 14th Asian Law Institute Conference (ASLI) in Manila, Philippines (May 2017).
- “A Theory of Speech Cascades” invited to present at the 111th Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Annual meeting in San Francisco, United States (January 2017).
- “Legal Ambiguity and the Limits of Censorship” presented at the 11th Annual General Conference of the European China Law Studies Association (ECLS) at the University of Roma TRE Faculty of Law in Rome, Italy (September 2016).
- Invited to chair the Asia WTO Research Network (AWRN) 2016 Annual Conference The Trans-Pacific Partnership: A Paradigm Shift in International Trade Regulation? in Hong Kong, China (May 2016).
- “Why Utilitarianism is not a Moral Theory” invited as keynote speaker at the ‘World Lumen Congress 2016’ in Iasi, Romania (April 2016).
- “Soft Law as Spontaneous Order” invited to present at ‘HKU-NUS-SMU Conference 2016’ at The University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law in Hong Kong (February 2016).
- “Sustainable Development in China: An Opportunity for Creative Environmental Governance” invited to present at ‘Consumer Policy in China: New Trends and Challenges’ at The University of Macau Faculty of Law in Macau, China (December 2015).
- “Understanding the force of Soft Law” presented at the Biennial Conference of the Asian Society of International Law (AsianSIL) in Bangkok, Thailand (November 2015).
- “The Fragility of the Norms that underpin Environmental Cooperation: A Game Theoretic Analysis” invited to present at the ‘International Conference on Cooperation between China and ASIAN States on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage’ at the South China Sea Institute of Xiamen University in Xiamen, China (November 2015).
- “Why Soft Law has Influence and how to harness its Power to strengthen International Law” presented at the American Society of International Law Research Forum (ASIL) at The American University Faculty of Law in Washington DC, United States (October 2015).
- Invited to attend the LEC Workshop for Law Professors on Austrian Law & Economics at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, United States (October 2015).
- “The Normative Future of Sustainable Development” invited to present at ‘Sustainable Development and International Law: Current Issues and Future Challenges’ at The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, co-organized by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau in Hong Kong, SAR (October 2015).
- “Why the Nation-state does not make Sense” invited to present at ‘New Approaches in Social and Humanistic Sciences’ at The Public Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova in Chisinau, Moldova (September 2015).
- “Our Massive Castles in the Sky: Why the Nation State is Illegitimate” presented at the International Society for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, XXVII World Congress at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington DC, United States (July 2015).
- Invited to attend the LEC Thirty-First Economics Institute for Law Professors, Henry G. Manne Program in Law & Economics Studies at George Mason University School of Law in Virginia, United States (July 2015).
- Invited to attend Expert Roundtable on International Investment Law and Sustainable Development at L’Université Panthéon-Assas Paris II, CRED – Paris Center for Law and Economics in Paris, France (July 2015).
- “From Chaos to Cooperation: A Proposal to strengthen International Treaty Compliance” invited to present at the UK-China Comparative Public Law Symposium at Shandong University in Jinan, China (April 2015).
- “Fixing the Tragedy in the Tragedy of the Commons” presented at ‘Managing the Globalization of Water Services in a World Affected by Climate Change’ in Hong Kong, SAR (March 2015).
- Invited to chair the European China Law Studies Association conference (ECLS) 2014 Annual Conference ‘Making, Enforcing and Accessing the Law’ in Hong Kong, China (November 2014).
- “The Enhancement of International Trade through Spontaneous Harmonization” invited to present at the 2014 UNCITRAL Asia-Pacific Fall Conference “Trade Development through the Harmonization of Commercial Law” in Macau, China (October 2014).
- “The new Lex Maritima and the Possibility of Stateless Legal Order” invited to present at The Continued Development of Shipping Law: The Role of Arbitration (roundtable) at Queen Mary University London Centre for Commercial Law Studies in London, United Kingdom (July 2014).
- “The parched Earth of Cooperation: Solving the Tragedy of the Commons in Global Water Conservation” invited to present at the Globalization of Water Services International Rules and Challenges at Maastricht University in Brussels in Brussels, Belgium (June 2014).
- “Anarchy, Order, and Trade: A partial Account of why a global, unified Commercial Legal Order is emerging” presented at the Asian Conference on Politics, Economy and Law (ACPEL) in Osaka, Japan (November 2013).
- “Authoritarianism’s new Leash on Speech” presented at the Joint-workshop on Technology, Energy and International Economic Law at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong, SAR (September 2012).
- “A Semiotic Approach to Law and Norms” presented at the 10th International Roundtable for the Semiotics of Law “Intercultural Awareness in Legal Language” at The Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (November 2011).
- “Towards a Postmodern Conception of Law” presented at the 13th annual Interdisciplinary Legal Studies Graduate Students Conference, Law without Borders at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada (May 2008).
- CU Research Excellence Award 2015
- University of British Columbia Graduate Scholarship Award 2007
- Hugh M Brock Scholarship Award 2002
- Law & Social Inquiry
- International Journal for the Semiotics of Law
- Rationality and Society
- Social Theory and Practice