David Kennedy (jurist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the American academic and legal scholar of international law. For other people with this name, see David Kennedy (disambiguation).
David Kennedy
David Kennedy - World Economic Forum Special Meeting on Economic Growth and Job Creation in the Arab World.jpg
Born 1954 (age 61–62)
Nationality United States
Fields International law
Institutions Brown University
Alma mater Harvard Law School
Tufts University
Brown University

David W. Kennedy (born 1954)[1] is an American academic and legal scholar known for his work on, and criticism of, international law. As of 2009 he holds an appointment as Vice President International Affairs at Brown University, and the endowed chair as David and Marianna Fisher University Professor of International Relations, taking up these positions from January 1, 2008.[2] Kennedy was formerly the Manley Hudson Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and director of its European Law Research Center. Between 2008 and 2009, Kennedy served as the Director of Brown's Watson Institute for International Studies where he inaugurated BIARI, an interdisciplinary workshop that focused on contemporary issues in global governance. After serving at Brown, Prof. Kennedy returned to Harvard Law School, and he is currently the Director of the newly formed Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP).

Life and career[edit]

David Kennedy obtained his A.B. from Brown in 1976, graduating cum laude. In 1979 he completed a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He then attended Harvard Law School to be awarded his J.D. (magna cum laude) in 1980, after which he was admitted to the Bar in the District of Columbia. Kennedy returned to the Tufts and the Fletcher school to complete his doctoral studies, obtaining a PhD in international law and organizations, law and economic development in 1984.[3]

In 1981 Kennedy took up a position as lecturer in Law at Harvard. Over the next 25 years Kennedy held a succession of academic appointments at Harvard, progressing through the academic ranks as assistant professor, professor, and faculty director.

He has worked for the United Nations, the European Commission and in private practice. Kennedy is also a member of Council on Foreign Relations, a position held since 2003.

Visiting professorships and scholarships held by Kennedy during his career include at Kiel and Hamburg universities (1980–81), the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the University of Toronto (1998/99), University of Paris X, Nanterre (multiple appointments from 1995 to 2006), Australian National University (2000), University of Turin (2001/02) and the University of Freiburg (2007/08).[3]

Research and publications[edit]

He is one of the leaders of New Stream or New Approaches to International Law movement which draws from Critical Legal Studies and other methodological sources to engage international law. His book Dark Sides of Virtue: Reassessing International Humanitarianism (2005) offers a critique of the international human rights movement and puts forward an alternative vision of global governance. In addition to dozens of articles on legal history and theory, Kennedy has authored three other books, most recently, The Canon of American Legal Thought (edited with William W. Fisher, 2006), and Of War and Law (2006).


  1. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF) .
  2. ^ "David Kennedy Named Vice President for International Affairs" (Press release). Brown University Media Relations. 13 October 2007. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  3. ^ a b "David Kennedy: Curriculum Vitae". International Affairs - People. Brown University. 2008. Archived from the original on January 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 

External links[edit]