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Christopher Szabla

Graduate Student

Christopher Szabla

Educational Background

MA, PhD (candidate), Cornell University

JD, Harvard Law School

BA, Columbia University



Christopher Szabla is a doctoral researcher at Cornell University and recent lecturer at Cornell Law School. He is a Mellon-CES Fellow of the Council for European Studies and has been a Social Science Research Council-funded IDRF fellow and a Mario Einaudi Fellow. He has taught and developed courses on international law, migration, and the Middle East as part of a broad focus on the relationship between Europe and the wider world. His specific areas of research have included international humanitarian law, the global governance of migration, and intellectual history, particularly the history of the philosophy of free movement. His work in the latter area was the recipient of a prize from the American Association of Law Libraries.

His current research seeks to recover historical proposals for and systems put in place that resemble a more comprehensive governance of global migration, especially international regimes with the power to direct the movement and oversee the rights of both economic migrants and refugees, as well as the early use of more expansive definitions of a refugee under international law, early drafts of migrant rights treaties, and more expansive (re)settlement schemes, and to interrogate the reasons for these ideas' limited or non-implementation as well as their usefulness as precedents for the reform of global migration governance today.

He holds a B.A. from Columbia University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an M.A. from Cornell University. He has also studied at the Freie Universität Berlin and the American University in Cairo and has been a fellow at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. He is a member of the bar in New York, where he worked as an attorney.

Szabla, Christopher
European and global history, particularly intellectual history and the histories of colonialism and international law. My research currently focuses on past attempts to coordinate and regulate global migration.

Advisors:  Isabel Hull, Robert Travers


  • History