Announcing the Call 2022 Alliance Joint Projects Grantees

May 26, 2023

The Alliance Program is delighted to announce the grantees of the Call 2022 Joint Projects Grant.

Alliance Joint Projects Grants are intended to support transatlantic projects of the highest quality, both in scientific research and collaborative teaching efforts, between faculty members of all disciplines within the Alliance network.

The newest grants, amounting to over $73,000, are being awarded to Principal Investigators from Columbia University, Sciences Po, and Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne. These institutions will work in partnership to promote new efforts in joint research proposal development, pilot research, collaborative teaching endeavors, and other activities in order to create new international collaborative initiatives. 

The Call 2022 Alliance Joint Projects Grantees are:

Climate change remains a multidimensional global pollution problem arising from the world’s social, economic and legal systems. The risks it presents continue to threaten most if not all aspects of society, including physical infrastructure, natural systems, food security, human health, and financial stability. In the face of failures and shortfalls from political and corporate leaders, many civil society actors have taken to courtrooms to seek justice through the implementation of climate policies and the recognition of a right to be protected from the worst impacts of climate change. This project enhances the ongoing collaborations between Columbia and Sorbonne Law Schools to advance the analysis of innovative legal and policy tools that are mobilized in the field of climate change. The project will focus on a comparative study of climate litigation. A series of joint seminars and workshops will be organized both in New York and Paris: LL.M and PhD students from both Law Schools will take a lead role in the discussion and exchange around these emerging issues, with a particular focus on litigation in France, the European Union, the United States of America, Latin America, and Africa.

This project proposes a one-semester course directed at approximately fifteen undergraduates from both Sciences Po and from Columbia. The course takes a comparative perspective in discussing the concepts of race, discrimination and racial inequality on both sides of the Atlantic. The course has a particular focus on the U.S. and French cases, but empirical studies of other Western European countries will also be included. It presents the latest empirical evidence demonstrating the pervasiveness of race and addresses the different ways that race and ethnicity are conceptualized in Europe and the U.S. It examines the central role of race in shaping socioeconomic attainment in these two contexts, with attention to discrimination, segregation and inequality in education, in housing and communities, in the labor market, and in interactions with police and the criminal justice system. The innovation in the course lies not only in the joint use of the literature from these two different contexts but also in the systematic co-teaching that involves professors who conduct research on each side of the Atlantic, creating a virtual cross-country classroom that brings together thirty students who study social sciences at the two universities. The weekly seminar will use a hybrid format with the 15 students on each campus in a seminar room and with the fifteen students from the other campus connected via zoom in a joint class. Cross-campus interaction will be facilitated through the assignment of students into small working groups – each working group with students from both campuses – that meet weekly with the TAs in breakout rooms to produce projects that will be discussed in the joint class over the course of the semester. This approach will also encourage research and teaching collaborations between faculty and doctoral students from the two partner institutions.

Regulation of the lead content of paint goes back to 1909 in France but lead-based paint was banned in the US only in 1978. At the same time, the lead content of blood of every child born in certain US states including New York is now expected to be tested twice before two years of age and is measured only in rare cases in France. The proponents of the two proposed hybrid workshops, one in Paris and one in New York, believe important lessons for future regulation of both established and emerging toxicants could be drawn from a systematic comparison of the evolution of environmental lead regulation in France and the US. Discussions between a dozen US and French experts with complementary expertise is expected to result in a review paper on the history of environmental lead regulation and could possibly lead to a more ambitious, long term project.

The question what is an author? is no less present today than it was when it was posed by Michel Foucault fifty years ago. In a world of digital media, the questions of intentionality, individuality, and responsibility that were analyzed by Foucault are just as central, politically and epistemically, as they were then. Indeed, the difficulty of those questions has, if anything, been intensified by developments in the politics of race and gender, our understanding of the agency of media, and the effects of initiatives such as open-source licensing. The object of this collaborative project is to reinvigorate and elaborate the transatlantic conversation that was launched by the publication of Foucault’s essay and its presentation in the US in 1970, and to do so by involving collaborators from France and the US, drawn from the breadth of disciplines that are engaged by the question what is an author?

In Europe, the regulation of Online platforms is clearly a key issue. The objective of European regulation was to avoid circumvention of the EU standard of protection for European citizens. From intellectual property to data and European consumer protection, the EU imposes a legal fragmentation of Online services regulation. A new series of European regulations (DSA, DMA...) reinforces this spatial approach always in favor of the European public. The objective of this joint project is, on the one hand, to study the EU approach from a US perspective and to determine whether it is considered an extraterritorial application of EU law. It will also be important to determine whether European standards may conflict with U.S. standards and how to resolve such a conflict. On the other hand, this project will analyze the potential convergence of a legal framework for the attention economy, in which platforms are a key player, regarding American and European proposals currently under discussion to address this issue. It would be very important to enrich this issue by a comparative approach between EU and US law, in line with the objective of the submitted project.

In order to conduct this comparative approach, two symposiums will be organized in France (Université Paris 1) and the US (Columbia University) in 2024. The first one will be dedicated to an analyze and discussion about the EU position concerning the spatial application of EU law and the substantial evolution of EU law concerning the regulation of online platforms. The second one will be dedicated to the US answer of the EU position.