February 12, 2008
Kyushu University Conference Report
The Kyushu University conference on Law and Development that I mentioned here was a success in both format and substance. There was a terrific set of papers from both Asian and American scholars, and the large number of graduate students made a wonderful contribution by reading the papers closely and submitting group questions.
One of the most interesting papers was the keynote by David Trubek, who speculated on the emergence of a new version of the developmental state. In Brazil, for example, the state developmental investment fund has more capital than the entire set of World Bank disbursements over decades. What happens, Trubek asks, when the state becomes a venture capitalist? This discussion invokes at a domestic level some of the themes in recent talk about sovereign wealth funds, a source of some concern among those who think they may be used for political ends, but also rich with possibilities for socially productive investments. We'll take up these themes this weekend at the University of Chicago, at the Center for Law and Globalization colloquium on financial globalization.
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