Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law & Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center
cohen pic
(706) 542-5556

University of Georgia
School of Law
211 Hirsch Hall
Athens, GA 30602
United States

Administrative Support

B.A., M.A., Yale University
J.D., New York University


International Law
International Trade
Foreign Affairs and the Constitution
Global Governance
International Business Transactions
International Human Rights
International Criminal Law
International Law Colloquium

Biographical Information

Specializing in international law, Harlan Grant Cohen joined the Georgia Law faculty in 2007. He holds the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professorship in International Law and serves as a Faculty Co-Director of the law school's Dean Rusk International Law Center. Cohen holds a courtesy appointment with the UGA School of Public and International Affairs' Department of International Affairs.

Cohen came to Athens from the New York University School of Law, where he was a Furman Fellow and researched national security law, international law and legal history. His scholarship has appeared in the American Journal of International Law, the law reviews of George Washington, Tulane, Iowa and New York University as well as the Yale, Berkeley, NYU and Michigan journals of international law, among other places. His article “Nations and Markets” in the Journal of International Economic Law won the John H. Jackson Prize for being an article “that most significantly breaks new ground and adds new insights to the study and understanding of international economic law.”

Previously, he worked at the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and served as a judicial clerk for Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. Cohen also interned in the U.S. Attorney's Office and for U.S. District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, both in the Southern District of New York. Before entering law school, Cohen worked at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the journal Foreign Affairs.

Cohen is a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and a member of the American Law Institute. Previously, Cohen has served as a member of the executive council of the American Society of International Law and served as co-chair of the society's 106th Annual Meeting. He currently serves as chair of the American Society of International Law's International Legal Theory interest group.

Cohen earned a dual degree in history and international studies from Yale University before earning his master's in history. In 2003, he graduated magna cum laude from the New York University School of Law, where he was a Florence Allen Scholar and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. Additionally, Cohen served as the articles editor of the New York University Law Review and received the Washington Foreign Law Society's Justice Robert H. Jackson Prize for best published student writing on a topic of international/foreign law.

Publications & Activities

Introduction to the Symposium on Gregory Shaffer, "Governing the Interface of U.S.-China Trade Relations" , 116 AJIL Unbound 38 (2022) [download from Digital Commons]. 

"Culture Clash: The Sociology of WTO Precedent" in Precedent as Rules and Practice (Amalie Frese & Julius Schumann, eds. 2021) [download from SSRN].   

"Are We (Americans) All International Realists Now?" in Whither the West?: International Law in Europe and the United States (Chiara Gioretti & Guglielmo Verdirame, eds. 2021) [download from Digital Commons]. 

"Metaphors of International Law" in International Law's Invisible Frames - Social Cognition and Knowledge Production in International Legal Processes (Andrea Bianchi & Moshe Hirsch eds., Oxford U. Press, 2021) [download from SSRN].

Nations and Markets, 23 J. Int'l Econ. L. 793 (2020)  [download from SSRN]. 

The Primitive Lawyer Speaks!: Thoughts on the Concepts of International and Rabbinic Laws, 64 Vill. L. Rev. 665 (2019) [download from SSRN].

Introduction to the Symposium on Julian Nyarko: Giving The Treaty A Purpose: Comparing the Durability of Treaties and Executive Agreements, 113 AJIL Unbound 169 (2019).

...And Trade, 2019 U. Ill. L. Rev. Online 48 (2019) [download from SSRN].

What is International Trade Law For?,113 Am. J. Int'l L. 326 (2019). [download from SSRN].

"Fragmentation" in Fundamental Concepts for International Law: The Construction of a Discipline (Jean d'Aspremont & Sahib Singh, eds., Edward Elgar, 2019). [download from SSRN].

Multilateralism's Life-Cycle, 112 Am. J. Int'l L. 47 (2018) [download from SSRN].

A Politics-Reinforcing Political Question Doctrine, 49 Ariz. St. L.J. 1 (2017) [download from SSRN].

"Theorizing Precedent in International Law" in Interpretation in International Law (Andrea Bianchi, Daniel Peat & Matthew Windsor, eds., Oxford University Press, 2015) [download from SSRN].

Claiming Control Over Foreign Relations Law: The Roberts Court's First Decade, 109 Am. Soc. Int'l L. Proc. 42 (2015).

The Death of Deference and the Domestication of Treaty Law, 2015 BYU L. Rev. 1467 (2015) [download from SSRN].

"International Precedent and the Practice of International Law" in Negotiating State and Non-State Law: The Challenges of Global and Local Legal Pluralism (Michael A. Helfand, ed., 2015) [download from SSRN].

Zivotofsky II's Two Visions for Foreign Relations Law, 109 AJIL Unbound 10 (2015) [download from SSRN].

Formalism and Distrust: Foreign Affairs Law in the Roberts Court, 83 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 380 (2015) [download from SSRN].

International Law in a Time of Scarcity: An Introduction, 42 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 1 (2013) [download from SSRN].

Lawyers and Precedent, 46 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 1025 (2013) [download from SSRN].

International Law's Erie Moment, 34 Mich. J. Int'l L. 249 (2013) [download from SSRN].

An Introduction: Confronting Complexity, 106 Am. Soc. Int'l L. Proc. 1 (2012) with C. Giorgetti and C. Payne).

Finding International Law, Part II: Our Fragmenting Legal Community, 44 N.Y.U. J. Int'l L. & Pol. 1049 (2012) [download from SSRN].

From Fragmentation to Constitutionalization, 25 Pac. McGeorge Global Bus. & Dev. L.J. 381 (2012) [download from SSRN].

From International Law to International Conflicts of Law: The Fragmentation of Legitimacy, 104 Am. Soc. Int'l L. Proc. 49 (2010) [download from SSRN].

"Undead" Wartime Cases: Stare Decisis and the Lessons of History, 84 Tulane L. Rev. 957 (2010) [download from SSRN].

Can International Law Work? A Constructivist Expansion, 27 Berkeley J. Int'l L. 636 (2009) [download from SSRN].

Historical American Perspectives on International Law, 15 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 485 (2009) [download from SSRN].

International Decision: Munaf v. Geren, 102 Am. J. Int'l L. 854 (2008) [download from SSRN].

Finding International Law: Rethinking the Doctrine of Sources, 93 Iowa L. Rev. 65 (2007) [download from SSRN].

Supremacy and Diplomacy: The International Law of the U.S. Supreme Court, 24 Berkeley J. Int'l L. 273 (2006) [download from SSRN].

The American Challenge to International Law: A Tentative Framework for Debate, 28 Yale J. Int'l L. 551 (2003) [download from SSRN].

The (Un)favorable Judgment of History: Deportation Hearings, the Palmer Raids, and the Meaning of History , 78 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1431 (2003) [download from Digital Commons].