IILJ Colloquium Fall 2021

IILJ Colloquium: Infrastructure, Rights and Regulation

Decisions about the design, financing, construction, and use of infrastructure have tremendous effects on all aspects of life, society, economy, and security. When Robert Moses built New York’s parkway roads to enable access from the city to the beaches, he built more than 1000 low overpasses preventing travel there by buses used by lower-income people. Similar choices about access and behavior are made daily by digital platform companies such as Facebook or AirBnB. When made deliberately, these choices operate as regulation — but these regulators are often themselves only thinly or unevenly regulated. Worldwide and locally, major physical and digital infrastructure projects at times bring pride and hope but also shape social relations and affect rights, capabilities, and life-chances. Different infrastructures are unified in standardized technologies (such as shipping containers or internet data packets), in informational systems (e.g. rankings and statistics) and in the internet of things. This course enables students to deepen thinking about these issues, and to participate (if desired) through research and scholarship in a major new cross-disciplinary IILJ research project on infrastructures. Class meets on Tuesdays 4.25pm, usually in seminar format with systematic readings, but with some guest speakers.

Public speaker sessions 

Sept 28: SDGs (UN Sustainable Development Goals) and Their Infrastructures  Speaker: Prof Alejandro Rodiles, ITAM  

Oct 12: Infrastructure as an Asset Class  Speaker: Prof Nahuel Maisley, UBA  

Oct 26: Facial Recognition and Biometric Identification Speaker: Amba Kak, NYU AI Now

Nov 2: Digital and Algorithmic Border Control Speaker: Dr Dimitri van den Meerssche, University of Edinburgh    

Tuesdays Vanderbilt Hall 202 4:25-6:25 PM