J.D., Columbia University
M.P.P., Harvard University
B.A., Brandeis University
Professor Backer researches on issues of globalization, especially as it relates to the emergence of ways of understanding constitutional and enterprise law and policy. His most recent work touches on the regulation of multinational corporations, sovereign wealth funds, transnational constitutionalism, and the convergence of public and private law. He is well known for his work on Chinese constitutional theory and has provided comments to changes in the Chinese NGO Management Law, the Charity Law and the Judicial Interpretation of the Chinese Company Law. He is currently researching issues of governments as private actors in global markets, the development of law and social norm systems to regulate business and human rights. In 2014 he published, with Jan Broekman, Signs In Law, A Source Book – The Semiotics of Law in Legal Education III (Springer and in 2015 he published, with Frank Ravitch, Law and Religion: Cases, Materials, and Readings (3d ed. West Academic).
Professor Backer teaches classes in constitutional, corporate, and transnational law and policy. In SIA he has taught INTAF 801 and an introduction to US Law and Legal Systems. Professor Backer is a member of the American Law Institute, the European China Law Studies Association and the European Corporate Governance Institute. He served as chair of the Penn State University Faculty Senate for 2012-2013 and as Chair of the Universty's Joint Diversity Awareness Task Force for 2015-2016.
“Inter-Systemic Harmonization and Its Challenges for the Legal-State,” in FICHL Publication Series No. 11 (2011): The Law of the Future and the Future of the Law 427-437 (Sam Muller et al. eds., Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, Oslo, 2011)
Symposium Issue: “A Constitutional Court for China Within the Chinese Communist Party?: Scientific Development and a Reconsideration of the Institutional Role of the CCP,” 43(3) Suffolk L. Rev. 593-624 (2010)
“Sovereign Wealth Funds as Regulatory Chameleons: The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Funds and Public Global Governance Through Private Global Investment,” 41(2) Geo. J. Int'l L. 425-500 (2010)
“Sovereign Investing in Times of Crisis: Global Regulation of Sovereign Wealth Funds, State Owned Enterprises and the Chinese Experience,” 19 Transnat'l L. & Contemp. Probs. 3-144 (2010).
Rights And Accountability In Development (Raid) V Das Air (21 July 2008) And Global Witness V Afrimex (28 August 2008); Small Steps Toward an Autonomous Transnational Legal System for the Regulation of Multinational Corporations,10 Melbourne J. of Int'l L. 258 (2009)
“Theocratic Constitutionalism: Religion as Basis for Constitutional Legitimacy in a Global Age,” 16 Ind. J. Global Legal Stud. 85 (2009)
“Internationalizing the American Law School Curriculum (in Light of the Carnegie Foundation's Report),” in The Internalization of Law and Legal Education 49-112 (Jan Klabbers and Mortimer Sellers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Science + Business Media B.V., 2008) (2 Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice (Mortimer Sellers series ed.)
“The Private Law of Public Law: Public Authorities as Shareholders, Golden Shares, Sovereign Wealth Funds, and the Public Law Element in Private Choice of Law,”82 Tul. L. Rev. 1801 (2008)
“From Moral Obligation to International Law: Disclosure Systems, Markets and the Regulation of Multinational Corporations,” 39 Geo. J. Int'l L. 591 (2008)
“Multinational Corporations as Objects and Sources of Transnational Regulation,” 14 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 499 (2008).