All social systems are rule bound, but not all rules are scalable. Law can exert power beyond its place of origin and bind strangers; this makes law a formidable social scaling technology.

Law’s scaling power can transform contracts into transnational regulatory tools, simple firms into multinational corporations, local use rights into tradable permits, mortgages into globally traded securitized assets, common pools into rights of access or exclusion, and organize states into regional and international organizations. Scaling also transforms law: how it is made, recognized and enforced, and what lends it legitimacy and authority.

The Center’s activities are devoted to unpacking these processes and enhancing our understanding of how law and globalization interact.

The Center on Global Legal Transformation was established in 2010. Its goal is to shed light on the many ways in which law shapes global relations and how they in turn transform law. The Center develops specific research projects, organizes workshops and conferences around them, sponsors doctoral students and engages researchers and policymakers from different disciplines, backgrounds, and locations.

Director Katharina Pistor is Michael I. Sovern Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.

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