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Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy


Centre for the Study of Human Rights
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE


Director - Dr Margot Salomon




Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy

Situated in LSE's Centre for the Study of Human Rights and directed by Dr Margot Salomon, the Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy (the Lab) probes the challenges posed by the complexities of the global economy and their implications for human well-being. The Lab has been set up to create a dynamic space for research, from the conceptual to the practical and across disciplines, on the myriad places where human rights, fairness and justice intersect with economic globalisation.

Ali Kadri
Dr Ali Kadri joins the Lab as Visiting Fellow
Ali Kadri is a Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore and formerly Head of the Economic Analysis Section at the United Nations regional office for Western Asia. Ali’s scholarship has focused on de-development and the issue of accumulation through destruction, the production of waste and militarism. Recent books include The Unmaking of Arab Socialism (2016) where he shows that the destructive tendencies of imperialism in the Arab world and Africa are neither accidental nor historically contingent, but systemic and necessarily rooted in the global crisis of overproduction. His most recent work is The Cordon Sanitaire: a Single Law Governing Development in East Asia and the Arab World (2017).
Lab Visiting Fellow hosted Chilean government officials to discuss business and human rights

Andrea Saldarriaga, Visiting Fellow with the Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy, hosted a delegation of four representatives from the Chilean government, including the Under-Secretary for the Economy and Business and President of the Social Responsibility Council for Sustainable Development. The meeting  addressed the Chilean National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP) and explored possible avenues for effective implementation, including in the area of foreign investment. Dr. Jan Kleinheisterkamp, Associate Professor of Law at the LSE and Andrea Shemberg, Visiting Fellow Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy,  attended to provide their expertise. The meeting was one important piece of work that Saldarriaga is undertaking to build understanding around State implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Andrea Shemberg
On 26 November 2016 the Investment & Human Rights Project (IHRP) issued its recommendations to the government of Colombia to address investment policy in its National Action Plan (NAP) on Business and Human Rights. The recommendations are part of the IHRP’s work to support the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights State Duty to Protect (DtP) and improve guidance available to States on foreign direct investment and investment policy in the development of NAPs. See English summary or Spanish full version here.
Andrea Shemberg
On 16 November 2016, the Investment and Human Rights Project (IHRP) at the Centre’s Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights hosted a joint session at the UN Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights. The session addressed how States should implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPS) in the context of investment policy, drawing on the recent work by the IHRP in Colombia and Indonesia. The UN Panel discussion brought together representatives from both countries to discuss the current plans for investment policy to be included in their respective National Action Plans to implement the UNGPs. Andrea Shemberg of the IHRP was on the Panel along with a representative of Rio Tinto. Dante Pesce of the working group moderated. The UN Annual Forum is a public meeting, but registration was required here
Nicolas Bueno1
Dr Nicolas Bueno, Lab Visiting Fellow, has written a new article 'Corporate Liability for Violations of the Human Right to Just Conditions of Work in Extraterritorial Operations' published in 22 The International Journal of Human Rights (2017).

When 250 workers die in a fire at a Pakistani factory producing jeans for a German discount chain or when workers commit suicide in Chinese factories producing electronics for international brands, should only the corporations in Pakistan and China be held liable? What about the liability of their parent and subcontracting companies abroad? The United Nations and the OECD increasingly recommend that parent and subcontracting companies conduct human rights due diligence throughout their global operations. This is also reflected in General Comment 23, which was recently adopted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and relates to the right to just conditions of work. To date, however, there is no domestic law that specifically addresses the liability of parent or subcontracting companies for violations of the right to just working conditions of employees of foreign subsidiaries or suppliers. This article presents emerging tansnational case law and the most recent legal developments in that regard.

For a copy of the full text/pdf, please contact Dr Bueno direct.
Rethinking Economic Policy for Social Justice: the radical potential of human rights
Speaker(s): Radhika Balakrishnan, Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Faculty Director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University,
Diane Elson, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex, James Heintz, Andrew Glyn Professor of Economics and Assistant Director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts
Chair:  Dr Polly Vizard, Associate Director and Associate Professorial Research Fellow, CASE
Date: Tuesday 28 February, 2017, 6.30 pm - 8.00pm
Venue: 32L.LG.18 (32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Lower ground, room 18)
A social or a neoliberal Europe? The Greek experience
 George Katrougalos, Alternative Minister for European Affairs - Foreign Ministry, Greece and Professor of Public Law
Chair: Professor Kevin Featherstone, Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies and Professor of European Politics
Discussant: Sarah Paterson, Assistant Professor of Law
Date: Monday 14 November 2016, 6.30 p.m. - 8.00 p.m.
Venue: Thai Theatre, New Academic Building (NAB) 
All debts are equal?  The law and ethics of sovereign debt      restructurings in Greece, Germany and Europe
Speaker: Dr Matthias Goldmann
Chair: Dr Margot Salomon
Date: Thursday 5 May 2016, 6.30 p.m. - 8.00 p.m.
Venue: 32L.B.07 (32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Basement room 7)
Legitimacy and Compliance in the Global Anti-Corruption Business: Corporations as Enforcers of Transnational Criminal Law
Speaker: Dr Radha Ivory 
Chair: Dr Margot Salomon 
Date: Thursday 11 February 2016, 6.00 - 8.00 p.m.
Venue: 32L.B.07 (32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Basement room 7)
Economics and Law in Conversation

This important new initiative at the Lab offers a series of interviews with economists engaging with human rights law and the objectives that animate it. The central aim of the Economics and Law in Conversation Series is to discover and deepen existing synergies between the two fields in the interest of social justice.

Interviews will be posted bi-monthly throughout the 2015-16 academic year. The Economics and Law in Conversation Series is moderated by
Dr Joshua Curtis, Visiting Fellow at the Lab.

Read the Concept Note.   
The work of the Lab's Investment & Human Rights Project has informed the latest report of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights to be presented to the Human Rights Council's 29th session, being held from 15 June - 3 July 2015. In its report the UN Working Group draws on the Investment & Human Rights Project's contribution to the World Investment Forum organised by the UN Conference on Trade and Development in October 2014. The report also draws from the Project's Learning Hub, including an expert article on the new UNCITRAL rules for transparency in investment arbitration
Margot Salomon
Dr Margot Salomon, Lab Director, was invited by the Speaker of the Greek Parliament to join the Special Committee of the Hellenic Parliament for the Audit of the Greek Debt (Debt Truth Committee).  The Committee operates under the auspices of the Hellenic Parliament to evaluate Greek debt and to address whether parts of it may be deemed illegal, illegitimate or unsustainable. Questions as to the sustainability of the Greek debt would include whether servicing allows for the socio-economic rights of the Greek people to be met and Greece’s international human rights obligations honoured. The Truth Debt Committee began work in Athens in April 2015.
On 23 March, the Lab in collaboration with the Law and Financial Markets Project and the Transnational Law Project, hosted an evening discussion on Financial Institutions and Human Rights. The event attracted over 40 participants from banks, banking associations, law firms, students, academics and civil society. Andrea Saldarriaga moderated the discussion centered on the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement on human rights. Representatives from the Dutch Banking Association, ING Bank in the Netherlands and Standard Chartered Bank in the UK offered their insights on the agreement and whether such an initiative might make sense in the UK context. A lively debate followed, which was initiated by Dr. Philipp Paech, Andrea Shemberg and Dr. Jan Kleinheisterkamp.
Andrea Shemberg
On 4 March 2015, Andrea Shemberg, co-lead of the Lab's Investment and Human Rights Project, was part of an invited panel of specialists brought together for a Chatham House seminar to discuss the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US: TTIP: Shaping the Future of Investor−State Dispute Settlement? 
Andrea Saldarriaga
On 25-27 February 2015, Andrea Saldarriaga, co-lead of the Investment and Human Rights Project, participated in UNCTAD’s Expert Meeting on The Transformation of the International Investment Agreement Regime in Geneva, Switzerland. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the need for reform and identify strategies to help shape a sustainable-development friendly international investment framework.
New research project: Beyond Global Capitalism: Reclaiming the Future of International Law  During 2015, Dr Margot Salomon, Professor John Linarelli and Professor M Sornarajah will conduct collaborative research on the international legal regimes of investment, trade, finance and human rights and the terms on which humanity has been challenged by them. This project is a study of what is in essence the economic violence of international law and the basis for its redemption. More about the Future of International Law research project.
Ali Kadri
On 28 October 2014 the Lab hosted the launch of Arab Development Denied: Dynamics of Accumulation by Wars of Encroachment. Dr Ali Kadri, member of the Lab's Sounding Board, was joined by Professor John Weeks (SOAS) and Dr Jason Hickel (LSE) for a discussion on Kadri's examination of how the Arab world has undergone a process of developmental descent, or ‘de-development’ over the past three decades. Event report by Anthem Press
Begaiym Esenkulova
On 17 October 2014 the Lab hosted a guest seminar, Balancing Human Rights and Investor Protection: Kyrgyzstan’s gold mining sector by Begaiym Esenkulova of the American University of Central Asia. Esenkulova presented her research on Kyrgyzstan’s investment policy regarding gold mining and the potential to reform it in order to align human rights and investor protection.
Asun Lera St Clair
An audio recording of our panel discussion Human Rights, Globalization and How to Save the World, which took place on 1 May 2014 and featured contributions from Professor Julio Faundez, Dr Asunción Lera St Clair (pictured), Craig Mokhiber and Dr Margot Salomon, is online.
On 10 April 2014, the Lab's Investment & Human Rights Project launched the Investment & Human Rights Learning Hub where users can explore the connections between investment and human rights, find relevant resources in the toolboxes, watch learning videos and read expert articles on a range of investment and human rights themes.
Economists As Political Philosophers: The Neoclassical Vision And Free Trade. On 14 March 2014, in a Lab seminar, Dr Robert Lepenies from the European University Institute in Florence presented his work to responses from Dr Andrew Lang (LSE) and Professor Leif Wenar (KCL).
Panel at UN Business and Human Rights Forum
In December 2013, the Lab's Investment & Human Rights Project participated in the UN Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights. Andrea Saldarriaga (pictured) moderated a multi-stakeholder panel discussion on Investment and Human Rights and Andrea Shemberg was a panellist in the discussion on the application of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to state-owned financial  institutions.
elearning image
At the UN Forum the Investment and Human Rights Project supported the launch of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' training on the UN Principles for Responsible Contracts integrating human rights risk management into State-Investor contract negotiations. The project team distributed the training materials on USB keys to participants from communities with low bandwidth internet access. Watch a short video introducing the training.
M. Sornarajah
The Lab's first public event  Greed, Humanity and the Neoliberal Retreat in International Law took place on Thursday 31 October 2013. The event headlined Professor M. Sornarajah, the Lab's inaugural Visiting Professor.
Asun Lera St Clair
Open Global Rights: Corporate concern for human rights essential to tackle climate change by Asuncion Lera St. Clair, Senior Principal Scientist of the Climate Change Program at DNV GL Strategic Research and Innovation and member of the Lab's Sounding Board.
Margot Salomon
In her latest article Of Austerity, Human Rights and International InstitutionsDr Margot Salomon, Lab Director, offers a timely set of arguments as to what is required as matters of law and societal expectation when it comes to having international institutions respect socio-economic rights.
Usha Natarajan
Open Global Rights: Human Rights - help or hindrance to combatting climate change? by Usha Natarajan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Law at the American University in Cairo, and member of the Lab's Sounding Board. 
Rachel Kurian
Open Global Rights: One step forward, two back? Dalit women’s rights under economic globalisation  by Rachel Kurian, Assistant Professor in the International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University and member of the Lab's Sounding Board. 
Eva Pils
Open Global Rights: Where the Emperor can’t enter: rethinking the case for property and housing rights in China. Eva Pils is Associate Professor, Centre for Rights and Justice, Faculty of Law of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and member of the Lab Supper Club.
Krista Schefer
Open Global Rights: Independent and impartial? Re-thinking the adjudication of trade and investment disputes by Professor Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer, professor of international law at the University of Basel’s Faculty of Law and member of the Lab's Sounding Board. 
Louis Karaolis
Open Global Rights: In the second Lab post on the Open Global Rights blog, researcher Louis Karaolis addresses the double European crisis of debt and asylum in A post-modern Greek tragedy - austerity and asylum in times of crisis.
Margot Salomon
Open Global Rights: The Lab is now a regular contributor to the Open Global Rights blog on Open Democracy. Open Global Rights is a multilingual, online forum for debating human rights worldwide. In the first blog from the Lab, Austerity, Human Rights and Europe’s Accountability Gap, Lab Director Dr Margot Salomon details how a range of actors responsible for austerity measures in Greece is at best ignoring and, at worst, violating socio-economic rights.
Margot Salomon
Lab Director, Dr Margot Salomon, was interviewed by Canada's foreign relations council as part of a series of interviews with Canadians who have made notable contributions to debates on global issues. In 'Where Human Rights Law Meets Globalisation'  Dr Salomon talks about how globalisation has shaped the concept of human rights, how international organisations and companies can be held accountable for human rights abuses, and how our current system actually undermines development.


Ali Kadri
Speak Out!

In this piece on Development under Uncertainty in the Arab World,
Dr Ali Kadri discusses obstacles to development in the Arab world with
emphasis on the baleful impact of conflicts. He tells us about the social
efficiency criterion, the legal corruption of institutional lenders, and how
private interests exhibit a necrotrophic relationship with the public sector or indigenous economy. The key question to investigate, it is said, is the relationship between wars and violent social order restructuring.

Read the first piece in the series of Speak Out!
Economics and Law in Conversation

This important new initiative at the Lab offers a series of interviews with economists engaging with human rights law and the objectives that animate it. The central aim of the Economics and Law in Conversation Series is to discover and deepen existing synergies between the two fields in the interest of social justice.

Interviews will be posted bi-monthly throughout the 2015-16 academic year. The Economics and Law in Conversation Series is moderated by
Dr Joshua Curtis, Visiting Fellow at the Lab.

Read the Concept Note.   
Curtis 83x62
In the final reflection piece for our Series of Conversations, Dr Joshua Curtis describes some of the major themes that emerged from the interviews with economists. Within the context of a suggested merger of heterodox economics and human rights law, the piece stresses strong commonalities including a shared depth of ethical commitment and a common aversion to technocratic policy solutions. Dr Curtis was a Visiting Fellow at the Lab from 2015-2016 and moderated the Series. He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool. Read the final reflection piece in our Series on Economics and Law in Conversation.
Chang pic 2
In our third Conversation, Ha-Joon Chang, Reader in Economics at Cambridge University, offers his thoughtful perspective on the relationship between economics, law and in particular human rights. He shows how an accurate picture of history, and a refusal to separate theoretically economics from politics, are both necessary to demystify the economic field and to think clearly about the laws and regulations that our present society requires. Read the third entry in our Series on
Economics and Law in Conversation
Somers image crop(2)
In our second Conversation, Margaret Somers, Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan, traverses the relationship between a new sociology of human rights, the nature of citizenship and the structure of our political economy. She relates the lessons of Polanyi's work regarding the dependence of markets on social relations to the widening cracks in our present economic paradigm to then point us towards change. Read the second entry in our Series on Economics and Law in Conversation
In our first Conversation, Radhika Balakrishnan, an economist and Professor in Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, shares her knowledge and experience of years of work at the intersection of human rights and economic policy. Read the first in our Series
on Economics and Law in Conversation
Lab 'Views

In this inaugural series of interviews the Lab  reaches out to Sounding Board members to find out how injustice functions in the areas in which they work and how the Lab's creative focus across disciplines can help inform their research.
Ali Kadri
LAB 'views: In the third in our series of interviews with Lab affiliates Dr Ali Kadri unpacks a complex and violent account of financialisation, militarisation and oil in the Middle East, and explains how human rights and sovereignty over natural resources of disempowered national working classes challenge economic orthodoxy. Dr Kadri is a member of the Lab Sounding Board. Read the interview (PDF)
Rachel Kurian
Lab 'views: In the second of our series of interviews with Lab affiliates we asked Dr Rachel Kurian to explain the role of 'flexicurity' when it comes to protecting workers, and to consider why austerity has become the dominant response to economic crises in Europe.
Read the interview (PDF)
Olivier DeSchutter
Lab 'views: In the first of a series of interviews with Lab affiliates, we asked Professor Olivier De Schutter, as he comes to the end of 6 years as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, what the key concerns are that undermine the exercise of the right to food, how change has taken place, and where we might next put our research energies. Read the Interview (PDF)