Fiona Macmillan

Corporation of London Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London

Fiona is Corporation of London Professor of Law at Birkbeck and Co-Director of the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property. She was recipient of a three-year research grant under the HERA Joint Research programme on ‘Copyrighting Creativity: Creative Values, Cultural Heritage Institutions and Systems of Intellectual Property’. Previously she was a recipient of AHRC and other awards for projects on copyright law.

Fiona’s research focuses broadly on the role of the international economic institutions, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization, in creating a global legal regime for the management of economic relations between states. Her particular interest is in how this regime attempts to (and claims to) de-politicize economic relations between states, while at the same time engaging in the intensely and inherently political activity of sustaining global capitalist relations through the use of international law. In this overall context, her work has focussed on a range of themes including the international intellectual property system, the growth of corporate capitalism, the relationship between trade and the environment, and the international development project. Using critical legal theory and insights drawn from political economy and economic history, her research examines law’s complicity over time in the capitalist project, the inevitability of law’s engagement with politics, the sleights of hand by which this relationship is obscured, and the consequences of a failure to understand how law mediates, interacts with, and constitutes politics in the economic realm. Her ongoing research also problematizes the concept of internationalism in international economic law order.