Engaging China

Engaging China

Mr. Alonzo Emery
Spring 2018 seminar
M 7:00pm - 9:00pm
2 classroom credits

Prerequisites: Admission to the course is by permission of the instructor. Prospective students should email Alonzo Emery (aemery@law.harvard.edu) their CV along with a note (one page maximum) outlining their interest in the course and any relevant experience. Please note that previous engagement with China is not a prerequisite for enrollment in the course. 

Exam Type: No Exam

This course focuses on the role of lawyers in shaping relations between China and the United States. Students will consider theoretical approaches to international negotiation, while also participating in more experiential, interactive exercises that include case studies and simulations.  The intention is to hold several joint sessions through video conference with students and faculty at Renmin University of China Law School in Beijing who will join us periodically to discuss the reading and participate in negotiation simulations. 

The course contains five core units offered to introduce students to a variety of critical legal issues in the US-China relationship. The first unit provides an overview of the different role of lawyers and the law in China and the United States, including an introduction to Chinese legal education and the legal profession.  In the second unit, we examine the impact of history on contemporary negotiations between individuals and institutions in China, the United States, and elsewhere, exploring topics that span cultural property law (including intellectual property and efforts to repatriate China’s antiquity) and also varying approaches to multilateral treaties. The third unit offers a comparative view of laws related to persons with disabilities and the LGBTQI community in the United States and China.  In the fourth unit, we will examine how US- and PRC-based corporations impact international relations and trade, covering issues related to corporate social responsibility, joint ventures, the national security limits on foreign acquisitions, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Finally, we will look prospectively to consider how China and the United States might work cooperatively with other nations to encourage sustainable development while maintaining peace and stability, with a particular focus on climate change and development in Africa. The simulations included in the course are designed both to animate the many substantive issues covered and also to introduce skills useful to addressing the challenges and opportunities those issues present.

There is no exam, but participation, including full attendance and engagement in discussions and simulations, is expected. By the end of term, students will draft a short case study that analyzes a contemporaneous or historical negotiation between parties based in the US and China.

Note: Due to daylight saving time and the schedule of sessions planned to be conducted via video with Renmin, four class sessions will meet from 8 to 10pm instead of the regular 7 to 9pm schedule for all other sessions. Those four sessions are as follows:

  • 3/26 from 8 to 10pm
  • 4/2 from 8 to 10pm
  • 4/9 from 8 to 10pm
  • 4/16 from 8 to 10pm

Subject Areas: International, Comparative & Foreign Law