Course Materials
The Legal Architecture of Globalization: Money, Debt, and Development

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Harvard Law School
Professor Christine Desan
Spring 2019

Course Overview (Description and Syllabus)

Course Materials

Introduction and Overview

Class 01: Money, Debt, and Development: Challenges and Change in a Globalizing World
Readings, Notes and Discussion

I. A Baseline: Money and its Design in the Early Western World

Class 02: Course Overview and Introduction to Money as a Legal Institution
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 03: Commodity Money and Medieval Constitutionalism (the Law on Money Creation and Debasement)
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 04: Medieval Money, Development, and the Law on Exchange (Usury and Nominalism)
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 05: Sovereignty and International Law in an Age of Bullion: the Early Modern Settlement
Readings, Notes and Discussion

II. The Early Modern Quartet: Modern Money, Public Debt, Securities Markets, and Commercial Banking in the Era of European Expansion

Class 06: The Invention of Modern (Bank-based) Money
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 07: The New Public Law of Money: Public Debt and the Ascendance of Creditors’ Rights
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 08: Securities Markets and the Accommodation of International Law: the Rise of Capital Out of the South Sea Debacle
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 09: The Development of Commercial Banking
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 10: Time-out – Contemporary Money-Making (a short introduction to the modern Fed, commercial banks, and the way they Interact)
Readings, Notes and Discussion

III. The “First Globalization”: the International Gold Standard and its Legacies

Class 11: Modern Markets as a Radical Innovation: Power, Problems, and Commentary
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 12: The Quartet on the Stage of Empire: Finance in the Ottoman World (i.e., imperialism as a monetary matter)
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 13: The International Gold Standard & the Geography of Development
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 14: Sovereign Debt Under the Gold Standard: Practice and Law
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 15: Austerity under Pressure: the Classic Conflict between Discipline and Domestic Need
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 16: The Bretton Woods Balance
Readings, Notes and Discussion

IV. The “Second Globalization”: The Promise and Dangers of Capital

Class 17: Debating Development and the IMF
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 18: Monetary Adjustment, the IMF, and Austerity Resurgent: The Challenges of Economic Development 
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 19: The Two Faces of Debt: Financialization and Conditionality
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 20: Capital Rules: Capital Mobility as a Governance Issue
[Guest speaker: Professor Rawi Abdelal, Harvard Business School]
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 21: Instability at the Core: The Financial Crisis of 2008
 Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 22: The “Judicialization” of Sovereign Debt: Bonds, Courts, and Financial Centers as Authors of Law
Readings, Notes and Discussion

Class 23: Wealth and Inequality: Debating Distribution in a Financialized World 
Readings, Notes and Discussion