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Teemu Ruskola

Teemu Ruskola

Professor of Law & Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Teemu Ruskola is an interdisciplinary legal scholar whose work addresses questions of legal history and theory from multiple perspectives, comparative as well as international, frequently with China as a vantage point.

Ruskola is the author of Legal Orientalism: China, the United States, and Modern Law (Harvard University Press, 2013), co-author of Schlesinger’s Comparative Law (Foundation Press, 2009), and author of numerous contributions to law reviews, from the American Journal of Comparative Law to the Yale Law Journal. He is also co-editor (with David L. Eng and Shuang Shen) of a special double issue of the journal Social Text on “China and the Human.”

Ruskola is currently working on two book projects. The Unmaking of the Chinese Working Class: A Brief History of Inequality in China analyzes the ongoing reorganization of rural and urban capital in China, marking a transition from a politically enforced inequality between city and country to a legally structured inequality between the rich and the poor. Ruskola’s second project, China, For Example: China and the Making of Modern International Law, investigates the history of the introduction of Western international law into China, and the implications of that process for the theory and politics of international law.

Ruskola is an elected member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. He has received several national and international awards, including fellowships at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (Visiting Fellow, 2015-16), the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (School of Historical Studies, 2014-15; School of Social Science, 2008-09), the American Council of Learned Societies (Munro Fund for Chinese Thought, 2014-15; Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship, 2002-03), and Princeton University (Law and Public Affairs Fellowship, 2006-07).

Ruskola received undergraduate and graduate degrees in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and his JD from Yale University. Before entering academia, he worked as an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, in New York and Hong Kong. Prior to joining Penn he was the Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law at Emory University. He has been a visiting professor at Cornell Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, among other places.