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Idriss Fofana

Assistant Professor of Law

Idriss Fofana
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Idriss Fofana is Assistant Professor of Law and Affiliate Assistant Professor of History at Harvard University. He writes and teaches in the areas of international law, comparative law, legal history, and law and colonialism.

His research examines the history of international law and other forms of inter-polity order in Africa and Asia since the 1600s. Focusing on China and Sahelian West Africa, his work has explored African and Asian engagement with transnational legal regimes through subjects as varied as the international protection of private property, non-discrimination standards, the law of treaties, and international labor migration. He works primarily with sources in Chinese (classical and modern), French, Arabic (classical), and Portuguese.

His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Leiden Journal of International Law, the Journal of the History of International Law/Revue d’histoire du droit international, and other publications.

Before joining the faculty, he was the Reginald F. Lewis Fellow at Harvard Law School. He also served as a Judicial Fellow for Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf, then president of the International Court of Justice.

Originally from Côte d’Ivoire, Professor Fofana received an undergraduate degree from Harvard College. He earned a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he participated in litigation and advocacy on matters of immigration, citizenship, and national security. He received his Ph.D. in African and Chinese history from Columbia University. He has also been a visiting scholar at Zhejiang University, Jinan University (Guangzhou), Fudan University Law School, and Paris 1 University Panthéon-Sorbonne.