David Kennedy ’80, a renowned expert in international law, returned to Harvard Law School as a full-time professor in the fall of 2009. Kennedy was on the HLS full-time faculty for more than three decades until he became vice president for International Affairs at Brown University in 2008.
“David Kennedy is one of the preeminent scholars in international law, and a first-rate teacher as well,” said Jackson. “The students and faculty of Harvard Law School will reap tremendous intellectual rewards from his return to our full-time faculty, as he continues to grow the ideas and approaches from the seeds he first began sowing here when he joined our faculty the first time more than 30 years ago.”
Kennedy’s research focuses on developing a multidisciplinary approach to global law, governance, and social thought. His research uses interdisciplinary materials from sociology and social theory, economics, and history to explore issues of global governance, development policy, and the nature of professional expertise.
Kennedy will lead the new Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School, which will focus on new thinking about international law and transnational governance. The institute will be a successor to the European Law Research Center, which Kennedy founded in 1990 and has been directing for the past 19 years, and will continue the ELRC’s traditional interest in the European Union while extending the broad mandate that the ELRC has pursued over the last years in the fields of development, international, and comparative law.
“I am very excited to be returning to HLS,” Kennedy said. “Over the last decades at HLS, it has been a privilege to help build an international network of scholars committed to thinking about international affairs in new ways. Our new Institute for Global Law and Policy comes at just the right time – poised to contribute to discussions about the structure and potential for global governance as we confront the effects of the global economic crisis.”
Kennedy joined the HLS faculty in 1981 as the John Harvey Gregory Lecturer on World Organization. He was named a professor of law in 1986 and served as director of international and graduate legal studies from 1991-97. Kennedy was appointed the Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law in 1994, and then the Manley O. Hudson Professor of law in 2003.
After leaving HLS for Brown last year, Kennedy maintained his connection to HLS as Manley O. Hudson Visiting Professor of Law. At Brown, Kennedy led the University’s international agenda. In addition to his post as vice president, he was a University Professor of Law, the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor of International Relations, and the interim director of the Watson Institute for International Studies.
Kennedy is the author of numerous books and articles on international law, history, and legal theory. His books include Economic Development: An Intellectual History (Princeton University Press, forthcoming); The Rights of Spring: A Memoir of Innocence Abroad (Princeton University Press, 2009); The Canon of American Legal Thought, with William Fisher (Princeton University Press, 2006); Of War and Law (Princeton University Press, 2006); and The Dark Sides of Virtue: Reassessing International Humanitarianism (Princeton University Press, 2004).
Kennedy has held appointments as a visiting professor at the University of Paris II and IX, the University of Turin, the Australian National University, the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of Freiburg, New York University, and the University of Toronto. He was a visiting scholar at the University of London, a Fulbright fellow in Belgium, and a Humboldt and Sheldon Fellow in Germany.
In addition to his extensive academic career, Kennedy also practices law and has worked on numerous international projects. Among other organizations, he has worked with the United Nations, the Commission of the European Union, and with the law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton in Brussels. Kennedy is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Kennedy holds an A.B. in history and international relations from Brown University, an M.A.L.D. and a Ph.D. in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.