Lecture by Professor Annelise Riles, Cornell Law School

Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Markets.

Fredag, 7 oktober, 2011 - 14:30 to 16:30

by Professor Annelise Riles, Cornell Law School

Who are the agents of financial regulation? Is good (or bad) financial governance merely the work of legislators and regulators? Here Annelise Riles argues that financial governance is made not just through top-down laws and policies but also through the daily use of mundane legal techniques such as collateral by a variety of secondary agents, from legal technicians and retail investors to financiers and academics and even computerized trading programs.

​Drawing upon her ten years of ethnographic fieldwork in the Japanese derivatives market, Riles explores the uses of collateral in the financial markets as a regulatory device for stabilizing market transactions. How collateral operates, Riles suggests, is paradigmatic of a class of low-profile, mundane, but indispensable activities and practices that are all too often ignored as we think about how markets should work and be governed.  Riles seeks to democratize our understanding of legal techniques, and demonstrate how these day-to-day private actions can be reformed to produce more effective forms of market regulation.

Annelise Riles is the Jack G. Clarke ’52 Professor of Far Eastern Legal Studies, professor of anthropology, and director of the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture, all at Cornell University. Her most recent book, Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Markets (Chicago Press 2011), is based on ten years of fieldwork among regulators and lawyers in the global derivatives markets. Her first book, The Network Inside Out, won the American Society of International Law's Certificate of Merit for 2000-2002. Other works include, Rethinking the Masters of Comparative Law, and Documents: Artifacts of Modern Knowledge.

The lecture will be followed by a reception

For registration


before 30 September.

The Department of Organization (IOA) will host a Public Lecture series at CBS on the theme of 'Organizing Uncertainty' during the academic year 2010-2011. The aim of the series is to bring to the School internationally renowned scholars whose work has had a distinctive impact on the social and human sciences in general, and the study of various aspects of contemporary organizational life in particular.

Contact person

Mette Busk Ellekrog


Sidst opdateret: Communications // 25/10/2012