UvA honorary doctorates for economist Alvin Roth and legal scholar James Crawford

18 November 2013

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) will award honorary doctorates to economist and Nobel Prize winner Alvin Roth and legal scholar James Crawford during the UvA Dies Natalis celebration on Wednesday, 8 January 2014.

Crawford is receiving the honorary doctorate in recognition of the enormous impact he has had on the field of international law, and most notably liability law. Roth is being distinguished for his pioneering role in the development of applied market design, which draws on elements of game theory to resolve social issues.

James Crawford

James R. Crawford (1948) is professor of International Law in the Whewell Chair at the University of Cambridge (UK), a fellow of Jesus College Cambridge and a research chair at La Trobe University in Melbourne. He is also a member of the Institute of International Law in  Belgium.

Crawford is one of the most influential scholars in the field of international public law today, having played a seminal role in the development of international liability law (the branch of law that stipulates under what conditions countries are held liable for breaching their obligations and the legal consequences that apply). From 1992 until 2001 he was a member of the United Nations International Law Commission, where he was responsible for drafting the document which later became the Statute of the International Criminal Court. He was also in charge of finalising the codification and progressive development of liability law for states in 2001, resulting in the publication of the authoritative ILC Articles on State Responsibility. In his many groundbreaking scholarly publications, including most recently in The Law of International Responsibility (2013), he has defined the concept of the role of liability law as a cornerstone of the international rule of law.

Crawford is also recognised as a leading expert on the formation of states. His book The Creation of States in International Law (1981) is considered the most authoritative reference on issues surrounding the formation of new states, as recently witnessed in Kosovo and South Sudan.

Crawford furthermore plays an exceptionally important role in the practice of international law. He frequently acts as counsel in cases brought before the most important international courts and tribunals, including the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the World Trade Organization (WTO).  

Prof. André Nollkaemper, professor of International Public Law, has been designated honorary supervisor.

Alvin Roth

Alvin E. Roth (1951) is professor of Economics in the Craig and Susan McCaw Chair at Stanford University (US) and George Gund Professor Emeritus of Economics and Business Administration at Harvard University (US). In 2012, Roth was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in the field of applied market design.

Roth is one of the founders of applied market design, which draws on elements of game theory to resolve social issues. An example is the system Roth designed to allocate donor kidneys to patients. The system pairs people who want to donate a kidney to someone they know but do not match, with other patients and donors in the same incompatible situation. Since its introduction, Roth's system has been responsible for helping more than a thousand kidney patients a year. Another example is Roth's system for distributing New York's 80,000 annual secondary school pupils across the city's 500 high schools. Following its successful implementation in New York City, this model has now also been adopted by other US cities. 

A recognised expert in game theory, Roth's particular focus lies in negotiation theory. He is also one of the pioneers of experimental economics, regarded as one of the Big Four (along with Charles Plott, Reinhard Selten and Vernon Smith) responsible for putting this field on the map in the latter half of the 20th century.

Prof. Arthur Schram, professor of Experimental Economics, has been designated honorary supervisor.

Published by  UvA Persvoorlichting