Benedict Kingsbury

Director of the Institute for International Law and Justice
Murry and Ida Becker Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Global Programs

Benedict Kingsbury is Vice Dean and Murry and Ida Becker Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. He has served as Director of the Institute for International Law and Justice since its founding in 2002, and in 2018 was appointed as the faculty director of the Law School's newly-inaugurated Guarini Institute for Global Legal Studies. Project he has co-directed at the IILJ include the Program in the History and Theory of International Law (with Professor Rob Howse and Global Professor Martti Koskenniemi); the Global Administrative Law Project (with Professor Richard B. Stewart); and the research project on Indicators and Global Governance by Information (with Professors Kevin Davis and Sally Engle Merry). His major current projects focus on large scale global ordering such as TPP and the Belt & Road Initiative (Megareg); physical, digital, and informational infrastructure (Infrareg, with Sally Merry); and global data/tech law. From 2013-18 he was joint Editor in Chief (with Jose Alvarez) of the American Journal of International Law, a premier journal in the field, and helped create the online AJIL Unbound. He is one of the editors (with Andrew Hurrell of Oxford University, and Dick Stewart) of the Oxford University Press Law and Global Governance book series. His research projects on global governance issues have been supported by the National Science Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.Read more

After completing his LL.B. with first class honors at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand in 1981, Professor Kingsbury was a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1984 he graduated at the top of his class in the M.Phil in International Relations at Oxford, supervised by the distinguished theorist Hedley Bull. He subsequently completed a D.Phil in Law at Oxford, supervised by Chichele Professor Ian Brownlie QC, and thereafter held a permanent teaching position in the Law Faculty at Oxford before moving to Duke University in 1993. Kingsbury has been on the permanent faculty at the Law School since 1998. He served for 10 years on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of International Law, and was awarded the Journal's Deak Prize for the best article by a younger scholar. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Centro Internazionale di Studi Gentiliani, and of the Advisory Boards of numerous book series and scholarly journals.

Kingsbury's research and publications reflect a strong commitment to a broad, theoretically-grounded approach to international law, closely integrating work in legal theory, political theory (including international relations theory), and history. With NYU colleague Richard Stewart, he initiated and directs the IILJ's Global Administrative Law Research Project, a pioneering approach to issues of accountability and participation in global governance which includes several books and journal symposia and more than 250 scholarly papers by different authors. His article with Kevin Davis and Sally Merry on Indicators as a Technology of Global Governance (2012), and edited books on Governance by Indicators (OUP, 2012) and The Quiet Power of Indicators (2015), helped frame that field. He has sought to make an ethical case for sovereignty and for a critical positivism in international law. He is prominent among legal scholars who have argued for the importance and explanatory power of constructivist approaches to concepts such as "compliance" and "indigenous peoples." In works on the Grotian tradition in international law, and on such writers as Alberico Gentili (1552-1608) and Lassa Oppenheim, he has traced the role of particular theories of international society and international politics in the history of international law. Two of his co-edited books on Gentili's work were published by Oxford University Press, and he became an Honorary Citizen of San Ginesio, Gentili's birthplace, in 2010. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in law by Tilburg University in the Netherlands in 2016.

Kingsbury has written on a range of specific contemporary international law topics, extending from investor-state arbitration and inter-state arbitration to trade-environment disputes and the proliferation of international tribunals. United Nations, Divided World, co-edited with Sir Adam Roberts, was published in a Chinese edition in 2010. He has had extensive academic and practical involvement with issues relating to indigenous peoples.

Kingsbury has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the University of Tokyo Law Faculty, the University of Padua, the University of Paris-I (Pantheon-Sorbonne), and the University of Utah. He was the inaugural Caldwell Lecturer at Trinity College, University of Melbourne, and the New Zealand Law Foundation Distinguished Visiting Fellow.

Close

Faculty Page

  • All
  • Affiliated
  • Faculty
  • Scholar
  • Team
Philip
Alston
Professor
Lauren
Benton
Professor
Benedict
Kingsbury
Faculty Director
Katrina
Wyman
Professor
Joseph
Weiler
Professor
Jeremy
Waldron
Professor
Frank
Upham
Professor
Richard
Stewart
Professor
Linda
Silberman
Professor
Margaret
Satterthwaite
Professor
David
Golove
Professor
Franco
Ferrari
Professor
Eleanor
Fox
Professor
Gráinne
de Búrca
Professor
Jerome
Cohen
Professor
José
Alvarez
Professor
Kevin
Davis
Professor
Mattias
Kumm
Professor
Mitchell
Kane
Professor
Robert
Howse
Professor
Ryan
Goodman
Professor
Samuel
Rascoff
Professor
Stephen
Holmes
Professor
Theodor
Meron
Professor
Eyal
Benvenisti
Professor
Simon
Chesterman
Senior Fellow
Megan
Donaldson
Fellow
Nimrod
Karin
JSD Candidate
Martti
Koskenniemi
Professor
Joanna
Langille
Fellow
Karin
Loevy
Visiting Scholar
David
Malone
Senior Fellow
Sally
Merry
Professor
Edefe
Ojomo
JSD Candidate
Christopher
Roberts
JSD Candidate
Chelsea
Anelli
IILJ Scholar
Mikaela
Ediger
IILJ Scholar
Nathaniel
Eisen
IILJ Scholar
Tess
Graham
IILJ Scholar
Claire
Schupmann
IILJ Scholar
Caroline
Zielinski
IILJ Scholar
Suraiya-Asmau
Zubair Banu
IILJ Scholar
Angelina
Fisher
Program Director
Rachel
Jones
Administrator
Paul
Mertenskötter
Institute Fellow
Thomas
Streinz
Institute Fellow
Benjamin
Straumann
Senior Fellow
Sarah
Coco
IILJ Scholar
Isabelle
Glimcher
IILJ Scholar
Gabriele
Wadlig
JSD student
Helen
Hershkoff
Professor
Alissa
Clarke
IILJ Scholar
Deborah Kay
Burand
Professor
Liam
Murphy
Professor
Paulina
Starski
Global Fellow
Michele
Krech
JSD student
Jackson
Gandour
IILJ Scholar
Robert
Barton
IILJ Scholar
Tatiana
August-Schmidt
IILJ Scholar
Harlan G.
Cohen
Senior Fellow
Gerry
Simpson
Senior Global Research Fellow
Matthew S.
Erie
Global Fellow
Tleuzhan
Zhunussova
Global Fellow