Sara Resia Dezalay

Sara Resia Dezalay

Senior Researcher, Global Justice Lab


French and Irish, Sara Dezalay is a lawyer and political sociologist and obtained her PhD of Laws at the European University Institute in Florence in 2011. Before her appointment as lecturer at the Cardiff School of Law and Politics in September 2016, she was visiting researcher at the Hauser Global Law Program at NYU (2007), assistant lecturer (A.T.E.R.) at the Institute of Political Science of Lille, and guest lecturer at Sciences-Po in Paris and HEC Paris (2009-2011); guest lecturer and postdoctoral research fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto (2011-2013); and guest lecturer and postdoctoral research Fellow at the Cluster of Excellence ‘The formation of normative orders’, Goethe Universität, Frankfurt (2013-2016). Parallel to her appointment at the Cardiff School of Law and Politics, Sara is a visiting fellow at the Dickson Poon School of Law, Transnational Law Institute, at King’s College London, and assistant editor to the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding. 

Anchored in structural sociology, Sara’s primary research investigates the roles played by lawyers in distribution conflicts over natural resources between the Global North and the African Souths. She is developing two main empirical projects. The first connects the authority of international justice over distribution conflicts to the professional and social characteristics of international lawyers involved in inter-state adjudication and international investment arbitration. The second explores the contributions made by lawyers to political, economic and societal transformations at the domestic level in African economies driven by the extraction of natural resources and in the wider evolution of the position of Africa in globalization.

A selection of her publications include:

Les juristes, faiseurs d’État (coord.), Politique africaine, 138, June 2015,

“Professionals of International Justice: From the Shadow of State Diplomacy to the Pull of the Market of Arbitration”, in A. Nollkaemper, J. d’Aspremont et al (eds) International Law as a Profession (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

“Les Juristes en Afrique: Entre Trajectoires d’Etat, Sillons d’Empire et Mondialisation”, (2015) Politique Africaine 138(2) pp. 5- 23.

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