Instructor(s): Yishai Blank

For graduate students, the course number is LAW7714HF.

Course Location: Please see the "Intensive Course Schedule" under Schedules and Timetables

Note: Students may enroll in an intensive course that conflicts with a regular course as an exception to the general rule that students may not take courses which conflict on the timetable. Attendance at intensive courses is mandatory for the duration of the course and takes precedence over regular courses.

From managing immigration to combating climate change, from conducting foreign relations to promoting economic development, cities throughout the world are rising to unprecedented power and influence. This ascent of cities is taking place at the national, regional and global levels, and it involves a profound reconfiguration of the role and status of cities, from subordinate agents of the state to semi-independent, semi-private global actors. Apart from rapid globalization and urbanization, what has accompanied and enabled this transformation is the alignment of three legitimating discourses around the desirability of city power: efficiency, democratic theory, and multiculturalism. Despite their different intellectual trajectories and often conflicting policy implications, all three discourses converge on a new and empowered role for cities in both national settings and global governance schemes.

The legal transformations that have accompanied and enabled this newly empowered urban role involve novel modes of legal authorization and responsibilization, as well as a reshaping of the relationships among cities, between cities and their states, and between cities and international and global actors. In this course we will investigate these legal and extra-legal developments through an examination of legal documents and institutions as well as socio-legal texts, and we will examine the transformations that local legal regimes (i.e., local government or municipal law) are undergoing or are expected to undergo as a result. These will include, among others, constitutional principles, political-legislative rules, and judicial decisions from Canada, the United State, Israel, and the European Union. We will also explore the idea of localities as “normative mediators” between various communities, polities, and legal or normative orders.

Students will be required to write a paper of 2500 to 3000 words. Papers must be delivered to the Records Office by 4:00 p.m. on October 17, 2016.

At a Glance

First Term



20 JD


Thursday, September 15, 2016: 2:10 - 4:00
Friday, September 16, 2016: 12:30 - 2:00
Monday, September 19, 2016: 8:40 - 10:20
Tuesday, September 20, 2016: 12:30 - 2:00
Wednesday, September 21, 2016: 2:10 - 4:00
Thursday, September 22, 2016: 8:30 - 10:20
Friday, September 23, 2016: 2:00 - 4:00
Monday, September 26, 2016: 10:30 - 12:20