Katharina Pistor to receive honorary doctorate on behalf of Erasmus School of Law

On Friday 6 November, on the occasion of the 107th anniversary (Dies Natalis) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Katharina Pistor, Edwin B. Parker Professor of Comparative Law and Director of the Center on Global Legal Transformation at the Columbia Law School of Columbia University (New York City), will be presented with an honorary doctorate. 

Professor Katharina Pistor is nominated by Erasmus School of Law in recognition of her pioneering multidisciplinary research on the relationship and interaction between finance, financial markets, and law. Honorary promotors Professor Hélène Vletter-van Dort (Financial Law and Governance) and Professor Fabian Amtenbrink (European Union Law) are delighted that Professor Pistor accepts this honorary doctorate on behalf of Erasmus School of Law. According to them, she is an extraordinary bridge builder between the legal and economic disciplines and her theory on law and finance has revolutionised the way in which finance and financial market regulation have to be understood. In her work she also makes the vital point that even in the age of globalisation, politics and law can shape our economies and make them more purposeful when it comes to the creation and distribution of wealth and the promotion of equality; issues that are also at the core of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Katharina Pistor is a German-trained lawyer who has been affiliated to Columbia University since 2001. Prior, she worked among others at the Harvard Institute for International Development, Harvard Law School, the highly prestigious German Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, and the influential Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.

The Code of Capital

In 2019 Katharina Pistor published "The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality". In this book, she argues that the law selectively "codes" certain assets, endowing them with the capacity to protect and produce private wealth. With the right legal coding, any object, claim, or idea can be turned into capital and lawyers are the keepers of the code. The book paints a troubling portrait of the pervasive global nature of the code, the people who shape it, and the governments that enforce it.

Strong link with the interdisciplinary research profile of Erasmus School of Law

Professor Pistor’s interdisciplinary approach to the studying of law and of economics resonates well with the research profile of Erasmus School of Law and its interdisciplinary and inter university research groups among others focusing on “The Balancing of Public and Private Interests”, “Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity”, “Legal Empirical Studies”, and, more broadly Law and Economics. Together with Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus School of Law has initiated the European Research Centre for Economic and Financial Governance, an international research network.

More information

The ceremony can be viewed here on Friday 6 November from 15:30 hrs. For more information, please contact Communications Officer Ronald de Groot at Erasmus School of Law, rdegroot@ese.eur.nl +31 6 53 641 846.