William W. Burke-White

Richard Perry Professor and Inaugural Director, Perry World House; Professor of Law

Ph.D. - Cambridge (int'l relations) - '06

J.D. - Harvard - '02

M.Phil. - Cambridge (int'l relations) - '99

A.B. - Harvard - '98

William Burke-White, an expert on international law and global governance, served in the Obama Administration from 2009-2011 on Secretary Clinton’s Policy Planning Staff, providing the Secretary direct policy advice on multilateral diplomacy and international institutions. He was principal drafter of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), Secretary Clinton’s hallmark foreign policy and institutional reform effort. Burke-White has written extensively in the fields of international law and institutions, with focus on international criminal and international economic law. His work has addressed issues of post-conflict justice; the International Criminal Court; international human rights, and international arbitration. His current research explores gaps in the global governance system and the challenges of international legal regulation in a world of rising powers and divergent interests. In 2008 he received the A. Leo Levin Award and in 2007 the Robert A. Gorman award for Excellence in Teaching.




Research Interests

  • Public International Law
  • International Relations
  • International Investment Law
  • International Criminal Law
  • Post-Conflict Reconstruction
  • International Arbitration
  • Iran, Russia
  • Human Rights

Selected Publications

Crimea and the International Legal Order, 56 SURVIVAL: GLOBAL POL. & STRATEGY 65 (2014).

Power Shifts in International Law: Structural Realignment and Substantive Pluralism, 56 HARV. INT'L L.J. 1 (2015).

Comparing the Approaches of the Presidential Candidates, 45 CASE W. RES. J. INT'L L. 369 (2012) (with Pierre-Richard Prosper).

The Adoption of the Responsibility to Protectin THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT THE PROMISE OFSTOPPING MASS ATROCITIES IN OUR TIME (Jared Genser & Irwin Cotler eds., Oxford Univ. Press Oct. 2011).

Reframing Positive Complementarity: Reflections on the First Decade and Insights from the US Federal Criminal Justice Systemin THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT ANDCOMPLEMENTARITY: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE, (C. Stahn & M. Al Zeidy, eds., Oxford Univ. Press 2011).

Standards of Review in Investor State Arbitration: A Comparative Public Law Approach (with Andreas von Staden), in INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT LAW AND COMPARATIVE PUBLIC LAW(Stephen W. Schill, ed., 2010).

Private Litigation in a Public Law Sphere: The Standard of Review in Investor State Arbitrations, 35 YALE J. INT'L L. 283 (2010) (with Andreas von Staden).

International Idealism Meets Domestic-Criminal-Procedure Realism, 59 DUKE L.J. 637 (2010) (with Stephanos Bibas).

Shaping the Contours of Domestic Justice: The International Criminal Court and an Admissibility Challenge in the Uganda Situation, 7 J. INT'L CRIM. JUST. 257 (2009) (with Scott Kaplan).

Shaping the Contours of Domestic Justice: The International Criminal Court and an Admissibility Challenge in the Uganda Situation, in THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT AT FIVE(2009) (with Scott Kaplan).

Bargaining for Arrests at the International Criminal Court: A Response to Roper and Barria, 21 LEIDEN J. INT'L L. 477 (2008).

Non-Precluded Measures Provisions, the State of Necessity, and State Liability for Investor Harms in Exceptional Circumstances (with Andreas von Staden), in LATIN AMERICANINVESTMENT TREATY ARBITRATION. THE CONTROVERSIES AND CONFLICTS (Thomas E. Carbonneau, Mary H. Mourra, eds., Kluwer 2008).

The Argentine Financial Crisis: State Liability Under BITs and the Legitimacy of the ICSID System, 3 ASIAN J. WTO & INT'L HEALTH L. & POL'Y 199 (2008).

The Domestic Influence of International Criminal Tribunals: The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the Creation of the State Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina, 46 COLUM. J. TRANSNAT’L L. 279 (2008).

Proactive Complementarity: The International Criminal Court and National Courts in the Rome System of Justice, 49 HARV. INT’L L.J. 53 (2008).

Implementing a Policy of Positive Complementarity in the Rome System of Justice, 19 CRIM. L.F. 59 (2008).

Investment Protection in Extraordinary Times: The Interpretation and Application of Non-Precluded Measures Provisions in Bilateral Investment Treaties 48 VA. J. INT'L L. 307 (2007) (with Andreas von Staden).

The Future of the United Nations, 155 U. PA. L. REV. PENNUMBRA 74 (debate with Professor Abraham Bell) (2006).

The Future of International Law is Domestic, 47 HARV. INT’L L.J. 327 (2006) (with Anne-Marie Slaughter).

Complementarity in Practice: The International Criminal Court as Part of a System of Multi-Level Global Governance in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 18 LEIDEN J. INT’L L. 557 (2005).

International Legal Pluralism, 25 MICH. J. INT’L L. 963 (2005).

Human Rights and National Security: The Strategic Correlation, 17 HARV. HUM. RTS. J.249 (2004).

A Community of Courts: Toward a System of International Criminal Law Enforcement, 24 MICH. J. INT’L L. 1 (2003).

An International Constitutional Moment (with Anne-Marie Slaughter), 43 HARV. INT’L L.J. 1 (2002).

Reframing Impunity: Applying Liberal International Law Theory to an Analysis of Amnesty Legislation, 42 HARV. INT’L L.J. 467 (2001).