GLAS & Long US-China Institute | Sungjoon Cho - Fortress v. Pangea: Gazing into World Society

by School of Law

Meeting Law Law - General Public Law - GLAS Law - HP Law - Students

Thu, Feb 22, 2024

12 PM – 1 PM PST (GMT-8)

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Law Building (LAW), LAW 3500

401 East Peltason Drive, Irvine , CA 92697, United States




The UCI Law Center on Globalization, Law and Society and the UCI Long US-China Institute welcome Sungjoon Cho to discuss "Fortress v. Pangea: Gazing into World Society."

Drawing on Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory, this Article seeks to analyze the recent global polycrisis, ranging from the United States – China trade war, to the Russia-Ukraine war, to the Middle East crisis, from a histo-structural perspective. The systems theory postulates that world society qua system is comprised of different subsystems, such as politics and economy, which are operationally closed (autopoeitic) yet cognitively open (structurally coupled) to each other. It demonstrates how these different subsystems may observe, and construct, different realities, such as globalization and de-globalization, based on each unique operational logic. This Article makes a critical observation that such functional differentiation increases complexities within world society and render it vulnerable to inter-systemic tensions. It also explores various ways in which “law” may manage these complexities and tensions. This Article concludes that the evolution of world society does not necessarily guarantee a teleological progress and that as complexities increase we must become inured with inevitable uncertainties.

About Sungjoon Cho:
Sungjoon Cho is a Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law. His scholarly research and teaching interests include international law, international economic law, international relations, and comparative law. He is a member of arbitration panel roster under Chapter 14 (Dispute Settlement) of the Korea–European Union Free Trade Agreement. Professor Cho has advised the Korean government under various capacities. Professor Cho's works have been selected for the Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum twice (2007 and 2008). His recent book, Investing the ASEAN Way: Theories and Practices of Economic Integration in Southeast Asia” (co-authored with Jürgen Kurtz, Cambridge University Press, Paperback in 2022), was awarded the 2024 Best Book Award from the International Law Section of the International Studies Association.  He holds an S.J.D. (Doctor of Juridical Science) from Harvard Law School.

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