Globalization, International Norms and Capacity Building



Shavit Matias, CDDRL Visiting Scholar

Date and Time

February 20, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


Richard and Rhoda Goldman Conference Room
Encina Hall E409, Fourth Floor, East Wing, E409
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305


At any given moment there are hundreds of international negotiations being undertaken in numerous institutions and forums, touching upon every legal and social aspect, including cyber, trade, terrorism, telecommunications, environment and human rights, just to name a few. International investigation and monitoring groups, and international committees and specialized bodies, are routinely created, subjecting states to investigations and reviews. States are subject to strict reporting requirements, having to submit hundreds of detailed reports a year to different institutions. International courts and over 160 international dispute settlement mechanisms are at work in their respective areas– creating new bodies of law, and thousands of professional committees whether in economic blocs, international institutions, or other forums, are revising and creating new international norms. Black lists are being formed, alliances changing, and new actors, including multinational corporations, are now an integral player of the international arena.

The challenges states are facing in building capacity and training personnel to deal with this vast and evolving international scene are formidable, requiring substantial funds, human capital, leadership, strategic planning, specialized education, and extensive inter ministerial cooperation, just to name a few. Ramifications for a state for lack of capacity may be huge.

This talk will seek to take a birds eye view of the evolving international arena, and focus on some of the challenges states, particularly developing countries, have in building their capacity to enable effective navigation in this sphere. The talk will showcase the International Rule Making Project, which seeks to assist in the development of global tools and policies. The talk will also address the increasing participation of China, who openly seeks to reshape global governance, as a strong player in the international space, and the possible interconnections between all of these issues.



Speaker Bio:

Dr. Shavit Matias was Deputy Attorney General of Israel in charge of international issues. She and the teams she led formed and implemented a strategic plan for Israel to deal with globalization and the numerous international institutions and forums. She formed and headed the Department for International Agreements and International Litigation, which deals with policy and law, globalization, international institutions, negotiations of bilateral and multilateral international agreements, joining international organizations, international investigations, and international litigation and arbitration in international forums. She spearheaded changes in inter-ministerial cooperation, training, and decision-making processes throughout government.

Dr. Matias regularly advised Prime Ministers and the Government on policy and law regarding international matters. She was a member of Israeli National Security Council teams on a range of national security challenges, national strategy building, international law, Middle East policy, counter-terrorism, and international conflicts. She headed inter ministerial committees, and worked with colleagues from around the world to develop international mechanisms, international tools, and law.

Matias represented the State of Israel in United Nations committees, international investigations of Israel, international and foreign courts, and co-headed Israel’s inter ministerial task force on matters relating to universal jurisdiction and issues relating to the laws of war. She represented the state in numerous bilateral and multilateral negotiations, including complex trade matters with the EU, joining the OECD, permanent-status issues with the Palestinians, and as a member of Israeli-Palestinian joint committees. She was also a member of Israeli government teams working with the international donor community on matters of Palestinian institution and capacity building, and a member of numerous policy teams.

Since 2014 she heads the Global Affairs and Conflict Resolution program at the Lauder School of Government IDC, and teaches courses on globalization, diplomacy, law, and conflict resolution. She is also on the Professional Advisory Board of the International Institute for Counter Terrorism. She is a recipient of the 2008 Award from Georgetown University Law Center for Outstanding Achievements in the Profession, and in 2017-2018 served on the President of Israel’s Committee for Doctoral Grants for Academic Excellence and Scientific Innovation.

Between 2013-2018 she was a fellow at the Hoover Institution and since 2018 is a visiting scholar at CDDRL heading the International Rule Making Project geared at developing global international tools enhancing good governance, rule of law, capacity building, and economic growth particularly in developing countries and areas of conflict.

Matias is a member of the Israeli bar and the New York bar. She clerked at the Supreme Court of Israel, received her LLB from Tel-Aviv University, her LLM from Georgetown University, and her Doctorate in International Law (S.J.D.) from George Washington University under the supervision of Judge Thomas Buergenthal.


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