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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

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Sounding Board

LAB benefits from the ideas, experience and vision of a panel of outstanding thinkers with expertise from around the globe and across disciplines:

Professor Olivier De Schutter; Professor Sakiko Fukuda-ParrDr Ali Kadri; Dr Rachel Kurian; Professor Fiona MacMillanProfessor Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer; Dr Usha NatarajanProfessor Prabhat PatnaikDr Asunción Lera St.Clair

Professor Olivier De Schutter

Olivier De Schutter is professor at the University of Louvain (Belgium) and at the College of Europe. He has been a regular visiting professor at Columbia University, where he worked on governance in the EU and on global hunger. A specialist in economic and social rights, he held the post of United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food from 2008-2014 and in 2014 was elected to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. His current work is on the theory of governance and European integration, as well as on the links between trade, investment and human rights. He has been awarded the Francqui Prize for exceptional contributions to the social sciences and the humanities. His most recent books are Foreign Direct Investment and Human Development, The Law and Economics of International Investment Agreements (co-editor) (Routledge, 2012) and International Human Rights Law (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2nd ed. 2014). He also authored reports in 2013 on Gender Equality and Food Security (for the Asian Development Bank and FAO) and on Trade in Service of Sustainable Development (for the Belgian Government).

Professor Sakiko Fukuda-Parr

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr is Professor of International Affairs at The New School, New York. She is a development economist working in the multidisciplinary framework of capabilities and human development, and currently works on human rights and poverty, conflict prevention, and global technology. From 1995 to 2004, she was lead author and director of the UNDP Human Development Reports. A Japanese national, Professor Fukuda-Parr received her BA from Cambridge University (UK), MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (USA), and MA from the University of Sussex (UK). Her publications, in addition to the Human Development Reports, include: The Gene Revolution: GM Crops and Unequal Development; Readings in Human Development; Rethinking Technical Cooperation - Reforms for capacity building in Africa; Capacity for Development - Old Problems, New Solutions, and numerous papers and book chapters on issues of poverty, gender, human rights, and technology. She founded and is editor of the Journal of Human Development, and is on the Editorial Board of Feminist Economics. She is also on the board of several NGOs that advocate for human rights and technology for development. In 2008 Professor Fukuda-Parr sat on the interactive panel addressing the financial crisis convened by the President of the UN General Assembly.

Dr Ali Kadri

Dr Ali Kadris is Senior Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore. He was previouslyVisiting Fellow at the Department of International Development, London School of Economics and Head of the Economic Analysis Section at the United Nations regional office for Western Asia in Beirut. He is a member of the Sounding Board at the Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy, LSE.

Dr Rachel Kurian

Rachel Kurian is currently assistant Professor in International Labour Economics at the International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She holds degrees in Mathematics and Economics, and has studied at the Universities of Madras, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, University of Cambridge, UK and University of Amsterdam where she completed her PhD in 1989. Her research has focused on economic globalisation, gender, human and labour rights, social justice, social exclusion and poverty. Her field experience has included Asia (Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, South Korea), Latin America (Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador), Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados), and Africa (Mauritius, Tanzania, South Africa). Publications since 2000 include:

  • “Models of Elderly Care in Japan and The Netherlands: Social Quality Perspectives” International Journal of Social Quality, Volume 2, Number 1, Summer 2012.
  • Flexicurity and Gender Mainstreaming: Deliberative Processes, Knowledge Networks and the European Labour Market” in Gender Knowledge and Knowledge Networks in International Political Economy, Brigitte Young, Christoph Scherrer (eds), Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden (Germany) 2010.
  • Quest for Equity: Urban Dalit Women Employees and Entrepreneurs (co-authored with Satyendra Kumar and Annie Namala). A research report by Justitia et Pax: The Hague, 2010.
  • 'The Globalisation of Domestic Care Services', in T.D. Truong, S.E. Wieringa and A. Chhachhi (eds) Engendering Human Security: Feminist Perspectives, Zed Press and Women Unlimited, 2006.
  • 'Industrial Clusters and Labour in Rural Areas: The Brick Kiln Industry in Three States', in K. Das (ed) Indian Industrial Clusters, Aldershot/Brookfield: Ashgate, 2005.
  • Trade Unions and Child Labour: Challenges for the 21st Century, Maastricht, Shaker Publishing, 2005.
  • 'Labor, Race and Gender on the Coffee Plantations in Ceylon, 1834-1880.' in W. Gervase, C. Smith and S. Topik (eds). The Global Coffee Economy in Africa, Asia and Latin America, 1500-1989. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  • Women Workers in a Global Economy: Trends and Issues, ISS Working Papers, General Series, no. 384, The Hague, 2003.
  • 'India: To Act and Learn.' in B. Grimsrud (ed). The Next Steps: Experiences and Analysis of How to Eradicate Child Labour, Oslo: Fafo, 2002.
  • 'Minder Onderwijs Minder Kinderarbeid ( 87E Jaargang, 31 Mei 2002), Economisch Statistische Berichten. 4364(2002).
  • 'Dubbele Standaard: Globalisering Zonder Democratie, De Helling, 3(2002).

Professor Fiona MacMillan

Fiona MacMillan is Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London and Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Roma Tre. Her areas of research expertise, in which she has published widely, are international economic law, copyright and cultural rights. Her work focuses on a consideration, in the particular context of rights relating to cultural production, of the problems posed by the relationship between public international law and international economic law. She is the director of Birkbeck’s LLM in International Economic Law, Justice and Development. At the University of Roma Tre she teaches a course on the international protection of cultural heritage that focuses on the problems of cultural heritage protection in the context of the divided system of international law. 

Professor Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer

Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer is professor of international law in the University of Basel’s Faculty of Law. Teaching a variety of courses, her recent research interests lie at the intersection of the international economic law regimes and other areas international law. Her recent work includes the examination of how the trade and investment systems affect poverty and poverty reduction, the connections between trade law and the laws prohibiting corruption, and an introductory analysis of the international legal framework on weight and obesity. A long time resident of Switzerland, Professor Nadakavukaren is a native of the United States. She spent a year at Wellesley College and graduated from the University of Chicago. She received her juris doctor from Georgetown University Law School, and her doctorate and “habilitation” from the University of Bern. She began her career at the University of Bern, where she continues to teach and act as a Senior Research Fellow with the World Trade Institute. 

Dr Usha Natarajan

Usha Natarajan (PhD, MA, LLB, BA) is assistant professor of international law at the Department of Law and the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies in the American University in Cairo. Her research is multidisciplinary, utilizing third world and postcolonial approaches to international law to provide an interrelated understanding of the relationship between international law and issues of development, migration, environment and conflict. Dr Natarajan explores the interplay of these issues globally and in the Arab region, with a particular focus on Iraq as well as the ongoing Arab uprisings. Prior to joining AUC in 2010, she served as Legal Research Fellow for Human Rights and Poverty Eradication at the Center for International Sustainable Development Law at McGill University, and taught international law at the Australian National University. She has worked with various international organizations including UNDP, UNESCO and the World Bank on law reform initiatives in Asia, including Indonesia during its democratic transition, and in post-independence Timor-Leste. In 2012, Dr Natarajan received the inaugural RP Anand International Law Prize for her essay on ‘A TWAIL Reading of the Arab Spring: A Reflection on Sovereignty over Natural Resources’. Recent publications include ‘Locating Nature: Making and Unmaking International Law’ (with K Khoday, Leiden Journal of International Law, forthcoming 2014) and ‘Forced Displacement from Syria or How to Institutionalize Regimes of Suffering’ (2013) 2(6) ESIL Reflections.

Professor Prabhat Patnaik

Prabhat Patnaik is an Indian economist and political commentator. He is Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi where he has taught since 1974 prior to which he taught at Cambridge University in the Faculty of Economics and Politics. In 1966 he won a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford where he studied first at Balliol College and later at Nuffield College, obtaining his BPhil and DPhil degrees in Economics.

Professor Patnaik specialises in Macroeconomics and Political Economy, areas in which he has written a number of books and articles. His books include Time, Inflation and Growth (1988), Economics and Egalitarianism (1990), Whatever Happened to Imperialism and Other Essays (1995), Accumulation and Stability Under Capitalism (1997), and The Retreat to Unfreedom (2003). He was the editor of Social Scientist and from 2006-2011 was the executive head of the Planning Board in the state of Kerala. In 2008 Professor Patnaik sat on the interactive panel addressing the financial crisis convened by the President of the UN General Assembly.  

Dr Asunción Lera St.Clair

Philosopher and sociologist, Dr Asunción Lera St.Clair is Research Director at the International Centre for Climate and Environmental Research-Oslo (CICERO), and former Professor of Sociology at the University of Bergen. St. Clair is Lead Author of the IPCC AR5 for the Working Group II Report; member of the Joint Programming Initiative Connecting Climate Knowledge For Europe (JPI Climate). Member of the Swedish Research Council Climate program; President of the International Development Ethics Association, and member of the editorial boards of the journals Global Environmental Change, Global Governance, Global Social Policy, Global Ethics, and Globalizations. Her research interests are focused on the relations between transformative change, climate change, critical poverty studies, development ethics, human rights and global justice, with a particular focus on epistemology and processes of knowledge production.

Journal articles: Climate Change and Development Framings: A Comparative Analysis of the Human Development Report 2007/8 and the World Development Report 2010 (with D.Gasper and A.V. Portocarrero), Journal of Global Environmental Change 23 (2013). ‘From Poverty to Prosperity: Addressing Growth, Equity and Ethics in a Changing Environment’ in O’Brien, K. Sygna, L. Wolf, J. (eds.) A Changing Environment for Human Security: New Agendas for Research, Policy and Action, London, Earthscan (with Victoria Lawson). Climate Justice: Narratives, Rights and the Poor. Special Issue of The South African Journal of Human Rights, eds. (with Siri Gloppen and Jackie Dugard), forthcoming 2013. ‘Climate Change Lawfare’ Journal of Social Research International Quarterly, Volume 79 No. 4, 2012 (with Siri Gloppen).Transformative Cornerstones of Social Science Research for Global Change (with Heide Hackmann). Report, International Social Science Council (ISS) Recent books: Climate Change, Ethics and Human Security in K.O’Brien, A.L.St.Clair, B.Kristoffersen (eds) Cambridge University Press. 2010. Development Ethics: A Reader, St.Clair, L.A. and D. Gasper (eds), London: Ashgate. 2009. Global Poverty, Ethics, and Human Rights: The Role of Multilateral Organisations (With Desmond McNeill), New York and London: Routledge, 2009.