Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2018

Publication Citation

25 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 565 (2018)


A warm welcome to you all. Thank you for your participation in this very special milestone for this Journal. As you know, this symposium conference marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the journal. Our first symposium conference was entitled "The Globalization of Law, Politics and Markets." Those papers were published in our first issue. I went back to that first issue not long ago, and found these lines:

"We currently stand at a watershed in the public law history of the United States. We have moved from local and state common-law, regulatory regimes that dominated the 19th and early 20th centuries, to national regimes that dominated the public law of the 1930s to 1980s, to the present global era. In the present era, law formulated solely in terms of purely state or national entities, without taking into account the significant role played by transnational forces embodied in multinational corporations, global capital markets, and rapidly advancing technologies and new scientific discoveries, is likely to be not only ineffective, but counterproductive. Today [1993], the line between domestic and international is largely illusory. As a result, we need fresh assessments of issues such as the role and theory of the nation-state in the twenty-first century, the need for and development of new international and global institutions, and, in particular, the kinds of domestic legal reforms necessary to mesh with or respond to global economic and political forces."

That was 1993. When I think about the excitement of the Journal's early days, it seems like just yesterday to me. Much has changed-our first symposium took place before NAFTA and the WTO were established. Still, some of those long-ago lines might still apply, especially in the idea of the legal academy as a place of innovation and experimentation toward the future. But as I think about the unity under law and the sure progress for the world at large, implicit in the lines I have just read, those days suddenly seem like a long time ago. Today we know, for example, that globalization is not a single process pitched toward harmonization, but something far more complex. We know it is not a unidirectional process in time or locale, a process that occurs only once, as if globalization were a straightforward yes/no question, but-again-something far more complex. As we embark upon our 25th anniversary symposium, gathered under the theme of globalization and legal studies, we have a timely opportunity to reflect on what the future world will ask of legal studies-not just in the legal profession, but across all disciplines engaged with law, and not just in the United States, but around the world. Of course, this also means thinking about the needs for and stakes in law, for ordinary people in their daily lives, around the world.