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Larry Catá Backer

Larry Catá Backer

W. Richard and Mary Eshelman Faculty Scholar
Professor of Law and International Affairs

Curriculum Vitae
SSRN Profile 

(814) 863-3640

J.D., Columbia University
M.P.P., Harvard University
B.A., Brandeis University

Professor Larry Backer researches globalization, especially as it relates to the emergence of ways of understanding constitutional and enterprise law. His most recent work touches on the regulation of multinational corporations, sovereign wealth funds, transnational constitutionalism, and the convergence of public and private law. He researches issues of governments as private actors in global markets, the development of law and social norm systems to regulate business and human rights.

He teaches classes in constitutional, corporate, and transnational law and policy. Professor Backer is a member of the American Law Institute and the European Corporate Governance Institute. He served as chair of the Penn State University Faculty Senate for 2012-2013.

“Inter-Systemic Harmonization and Its Challenges for the Legal-State,” in FICHL Publication Series No. 11 (2011): The Law of the Future and the Future of the Law 427-437 (Sam Muller et al. eds., Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, Oslo, 2011) 

Symposium Issue: A Constitutional Court for China Within the Chinese Communist Party?: Scientific Development and a Reconsideration of the Institutional Role of the CCP,” 43(3) Suffolk L. Rev. 593-624 (2010) 

“Sovereign Wealth Funds as Regulatory Chameleons: The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Funds and Public Global Governance Through Private Global Investment,” 41(2) Geo. J. Int'l L. 425-500 (2010) 

Sovereign Investing in Times of Crisis: Global Regulation of Sovereign Wealth Funds, State Owned Enterprises and the Chinese Experience,” 19 Transnat'l L. & Contemp. Probs. 3-144 (2010). 

Rights And Accountability In Development (Raid) V Das Air (21 July 2008) And Global Witness V Afrimex (28 August 2008); Small Steps Toward an Autonomous Transnational Legal System for the Regulation of Multinational Corporations,10 Melbourne J. of Int'l L. 258 (2009) 

Theocratic Constitutionalism: Religion as Basis for Constitutional Legitimacy in a Global Age,” 16 Ind. J. Global Legal Stud. 85 (2009)
Internationalizing the American Law School Curriculum (in Light of the Carnegie Foundation's Report), in The Internalization of Law and Legal Education 49-112 (Jan Klabbers and Mortimer Sellers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Science + Business Media B.V., 2008) (2 Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice (Mortimer Sellers series ed.)

The Private Law of Public Law: Public Authorities as Shareholders, Golden Shares, Sovereign Wealth Funds, and the Public Law Element in Private Choice of Law,82 Tul. L. Rev. 1801 (2008) 

From Moral Obligation to International Law: Disclosure Systems, Markets and the Regulation of Multinational Corporations,” 39 Geo. J. Int'l L. 591 (2008) 

Multinational Corporations as Objects and Sources of Transnational Regulation,” 14 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 499 (2008).


Law at the End of the Day

Show and Tell: Sharing While Chairing the Penn State Faculty Senate


Most of Professor Backer's manuscripts are posted here: Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Other Manuscripts are posted here.



other websites  

University-Sponsored Personal Web Site

“In Defense of the State and the International Legal Order: Reflections on Human Rights Obligations of Business: Beyond the Corporate Responsibility to Respect (Surya Deva and David Bilchitz, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2013).” Discussant Remarks. UNOG Library Talks—Book Launch, “Human Rights Obligations of Business,” a side event at the Second Annual United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, 2 December 2013.

“Polycentricity in South Asian Human Rights Law: On the Strategic and Simultaneous Use of Multiple Sources of Law to Advance Human Rights Against MNCs in South Asia.” Conference: “Asia and International Law in the 21st Century: New Horizons.” Asian Society of International Law 4th Biennial Conference. New Delhi, India, November 15, 2013.

“Methodological Issues in Implementing an Internationalized Curriculum—Five Approaches to Internationalization.” Conference: “Internationalizing the Campus, College and Classroom.” Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania. September 27, 2013.

“Democratizing International Business and Human Rights by Catalyzing Strategic Litigation.” A Festival of Ideas Conference: Business and Human Rights: Moving Forward Looking Backwards. University of West Virginia College of Law. Morgantown, West Virginia. September 23-24, 2013.

“State and Party in the Scientific Development of a Legitimate Rule of Law Constitutional System in China: The Example of Laojiao and Shuanggui.” International Conference on “The Rule of Law With Chinese Characteristics” in Transition. City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, June 6, 2013.