Ethnicity and Democratic Governance

Ethnicity and Democratic Governance

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Kingsbury.jpgBenedict Kingsbury

Institute for International Law and Justice
New York University School of Law

Research Statement (74 kB)

Benedict Kingsbury is Murry and Ida Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for International Law and Justice at NYU Law School. He also directs the Law School's Program in the History and Theory of International Law (jointly with Marti Koskenniemi). With Professor Richard B. Stewart he co-directs NYU Law School's Global Administrative Law Project, which studies accountability, participation and transparency in global governance.

After completing his LLB with first class honors at the University of Canterbury in 1981, he 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 well known Australian scholar Hedley Bull. He subsequently completed a D.Phil in International 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. He has been on the permanent faculty at NYU since 1998.

He has published two monographs, and edited several books published by Oxford University Press. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the American Journal of International Law, and his article on the concept of "indigenous peoples" in Asia was awarded the Journal's Deak Prize for the best article by a younger scholar in 1998. He is also a member of the Advisory Boards of the European Journal of International Law, the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, the Indigenous Law Journal, and the Journal of International Law and International Relations. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the University of Tokyo Law Faculty, and the University of Padua.

Benedict Kingsbury has written on a range of specific contemporary international law topics, extending from trade environment disputes and the United Nations to inter state arbitration and the proliferation of international tribunals. Among his recent articles are Sovereignty and Inequality, "The Concept of Compliance as a Function of Competing Conceptions of International Law", and historical papers on such scholars as Alberico Gentili and Lassa Oppenheim. He is at present working on issues of accountability, legitimacy and democracy in international governance, including a series of papers on Global Administrative Law and a general theory paper on "The Problem of the Public in Public International Law."

He has had extensive academic and practical involvement with issues relating to indigenous peoples, including work on the OAS Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and on World Bank policies. He is completing a book on these issues for Oxford University Press. His lectures as the inaugural Trinity College Caldwell Lecturer at Melbourne University in 2002 addressed the topic of "Indigenous Peoples, International Law, and Liberal Democracy." He co-convened symposia on New Zealand indigenous issues (published in the University of Toronto Law Journal in 2002, and on indigenous peoples issues in Asia (published in the International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, 2004).


  • International law
  • Participation and transparency in global governance
  • Trade environment disputes and the United Nations
  • Accountability, legitimacy and democracy in international governance
  • Global administrative law
  • Rights of indigenous peoples
  • Indigenous peoples and international law
  • Indigenous issues in New Zealand, Asia, United States
  • Contemporary political theory and indigenous peoples and implications for international law practises
  • International financial institutions (particularly the World Bank)
  • Indigenous peoples and involuntary resettlement