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Book roundtable event - The World Bank's Lawyers

Book cover and title


Moot Court Room
Edinburgh Law School
Old College
South Bridge


Tue 28 March 2023

The Edinburgh Centre for International and Global Law presents

The World Bank’s Lawyers – The Life of International Law as an Institutional Practice

By Dr Dimitri van den Meerssche, Lecturer in International Law, Queen Mary University of London Law School

View the book on OUP

With comments by:

Professor Andrew Lang, Chair in International Law and Global Governance, Edinburgh Law School

Dr Michelle Burgis Kasthala, Senior Lecturer in International Law, Edinburgh Law School

Dr Deval Desai, Lecturer in International Law, Edinburgh Law School


Join us for an introduction to and discussion of this exciting new book about International Law and the World Bank.

About the book
The World Bank's Lawyers provides an original socio-legal account of the evolving institutional life of international law. Informed by oral archives, months of participant observation, interviews, legal memoranda, and documents obtained through freedom-of-information requests, it tells a previously untold story of the World Bank's legal department between 1983 and 2016. This is a story of people and the beliefs they have, the influence they seek, and the tools they employ. It is an account of the practices they cling to and how these practices gain traction, or how they fail to do so, in an international bureaucracy. Inspired by actor-network theory, relational sociologies of association, and performativity theory, this ethnographic exploration multiplies the matters of concern in our study of international law (and lawyering): the human and non-human, material and semantic, visible and evasive actants that tie together the fragile fabric of legality.


This event is in person. Please register here.