US, China, and the Global South

CSCC 10th Annual Conference
Sep 21, 2023 - Sep 22, 2023 at 9:00am - 3:00pm | Silverman 147, Penn Carey Law, 3501 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

The world is moving beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about economic development have again become more urgent. In recent years, China has become a key player in global development as a leading source of investment in the developing world, a major donor of overseas development assistance, and a possible model for developing countries to emulate. While the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted China’s worldwide footprint, China will likely continue to be a major actor in global development. This workshop will examine how China is shaping developmental (and associated) norms at the national and international levels. China has linked fazhan (“development”) to a broad array of concerns that include poverty alleviation, security, human rights, health, and technological progress, and has defined many of those concerns in distinctive ways. Channels for China’s influence include participation in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, major international bodies that address matters of trade, commercial law, and human rights, and other multilateral and bilateral forums. Chinese corporate actors, lawyers and others have an impact as well, through international business transactions and cross-border disputes and dispute resolution, affecting the trajectory of development within and outside of China. To assess these aspects of China’s engagement with, and effect on, international and foreign legal norms and practices, this workshop will bring together legal scholars and social scientists whose research provides empirical, conceptual, and analytical insights.

The conference is co-organized by Matthew Erie (University of Oxford) and Jacques deLisle (University of Pennsylvania). 

Conference Agenda

Day 1: Thursday, September 21, 2023

8:45 am Welcome & Introduction

Jacques deLisle (University of Pennsylvania) and Matthew Erie (University of Oxford)

9:00 am Panel I: Finance and Development

Ammar A. Malik (AidData), “Crossroads of Regret: Unveiling Asia's Belt & Road Dilemma

Hong Zhang (Harvard University), "From Tied Contracts to Capital Gain? China's Evolving Financing in Global Infrastructure Development"

Jose Ignacio Herandez (Harvard University), "Tomorrow Never Knows: The China loans and the Venezuela poor governance"

Discussants: Deborah Brautigam (Johns Hopkins University) and Julia Gray (University of Pennsylvania)

11:00 am Coffee Break

11:15 am - 12:45 pm Panel II: Business and Human Rights

Diane Desierto (University of Notre Dame), “Entrenching Business and Human Rights in a Multi-Aligned Global Economy: The US, China, Middle Powers, and the Global South”

Margaret Lewis (Seton Hall Law School), “China's Shaping of the ‘Right to Development’

Discussants: William Burke-White (University of Pennsylvania) and Katharine Young (Boston College Law School)

1:30 pm Panel III: Development and Security

Lina Benabdallah (Wake Forest University), “Rethinking the Development- Security Nexus in China-Africa Relations: The Case of the Race for Critical Minerals

Matt Ferchen (Yale University), “Why Security Is not Replacing Development in China’s Foreign Policy”

Discussants: Jessica Liao (North Carolina State University) and Katherine Wilhelm (New York University)

3:00 pm Coffee Break

3:15 pm Panel IV: Democracy, Autocracy, and Development

Jacques deLisle (University of Pennsylvania), “Is the Flying Goose Cooked?: A Chinese Model of Autocratic Development

Joseph Wong (University of Toronto), “Beyond Collapsism: The Prospects for Democracy in China

Discussants: Tom Ginsburg (University of Chicago) and Mark Tushnet (Harvard University)


Day 2: Friday, September 22, 2023

9:00 am Panel V: Digital development

Aynne Kokas (University of Virginia), “US, China, and the Global South

Scott Moore (University of Pennsylvania), “China and Digital Development

Discussants: Martin Chorzempa (Peterson Institute for International Economics) and Thomas Streinz (New York University)

10:30 am Coffee Break

10:45 am Panel VI: (State) capitalism, Rivalry and Development

Matthew Erie (University of Oxford), “Adversarial Comparativism

Ji Li (University of California, Irvine), “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Chinese Multinational Companies in US-China Legal Conflicts

Discussants: Kevin Davis (New York University) and Meg Rithmire (Harvard University)

12:15 pm Working Lunch

1:00 pm Panel VII: International Law and Development

Karen Alter (Northwestern University) & Iza Ding (Northwestern University), “International Law and Development: China’s Strategy?

Greg Shaffer (Georgetown University) & Henry Gao (Singapore Management University), “China as a Development Model for the Global South?: Opportunities and Limits

Discussants: Kathleen Claussen (Georgetown University) and Bryant Garth (University of California, Irvine)

2:30-3:15 pm Closing Remarks and Next Steps

Jacques deLisle and Matthew Erie