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Terra Lawson-Remer

Fellow for Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy

Expertise

Opportunity and exclusion in the global economy: poverty and economic development, property rights, natural resources, global economic governance, fragile states, emerging economies, transitions, rule of law.

Programs

Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative

Featured Publications

Article

Economic and Social Rights Fulfillment Index: Country Scores and Rankings

Authors: Susan Randolph, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, and Terra Lawson-Remer
Journal of Human Rights

Susan Randolph, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, and Terra Lawson-Remer, building on a previously proposed methodology for an index of economic and social rights fulfillment, present country scores and rankings based on the Economic and Social Rights Fulfillment Index (ESRF Index).

See more in Economic Development; Human Rights

All Publications

Ask CFR Experts

What can international organizations do to support civil institutions in developing states?

Asked by Jack Glore, from William Paterson University

Civil institutions are critical pillars of democratic accountability—without them, democracy remains elusive, regardless of the laws written in constitutions. This is particularly true in countries dependent on oil and other natural resource wealth, and those struggling to realize democratic transitions.

Read full answer

See more in Global; International Organizations and Alliances; Democratization

Op-Ed

Put Your Endowment Money Where Your Mission Is

Authors: Terra Lawson-Remer and Dan Apfel
The Chronicle of Higher Education

University endowments ought to be invested in corporations that promote their institutions' mission, argues Terra Lawson-Remer. But for that happen, the Securities and Exchange Commission will first have to require public corporations to disclose their campaign spending activities.

See more in United States; Education

Policy Innovation Memorandum

Beating the Resource Curse: Global Governance Strategies for Democracy and Economic Development

Author: Terra Lawson-Remer

Emerging economies taking advantage of mineral and petroleum wealth often face corruption and conflict rather than benefit from sustainable development. This resource curse can be obviated, CFR Fellow Terra Lawson-Remer argues, if capital-exporting countries, banks, and corporations insist on transparency.

See more in Environmental Policy; Minerals and Rare Earth Elements; Global

Article

Security of Property Rights for Whom?

Author: Terra Lawson-Remer
United Nations University

Terra Lawson-Remer finds that in many countries members of marginalized groups face significantly higher property insecurity than foreign investors and domestic elites, and that although secure property rights for elites and foreign investors may be positively related to long-run development, property rights for marginalized groups are not.

See more in Forests and Land Management; Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity; Global

Article

Economic and Social Rights Fulfillment Index: Country Scores and Rankings

Authors: Susan Randolph, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, and Terra Lawson-Remer
Journal of Human Rights

Susan Randolph, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, and Terra Lawson-Remer, building on a previously proposed methodology for an index of economic and social rights fulfillment, present country scores and rankings based on the Economic and Social Rights Fulfillment Index (ESRF Index).

See more in Economic Development; Human Rights

Article

Assessing State Compliance with Obligations to Fulfill Economic and Social Rights – A Methodology and Application to the States of Brazil

Authors: Terra Lawson-Remer, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Patrick Guyer, Susan Randolph, and Louise Moreira Daniels
Coleção Fórum Diretos Humanos

Development policies are designed to achieve specific goals, so how those goals are defined has profound implications for the types of policies pursued, and how progress is evaluated. This chapter from Direito ao Desenvolvimento, edited by Flavia Piovesan and Ines Virginia Prado Soares, presents an index that measures the fulfillment of economic and social rights and applies it to assessing the performance of the 27 states of the Federal Republic of Brazil.

See more in Brazil; Economic Development

Current Projects

Recent Activity from Development Channel

CFR Events

Guest Event ⁄ New York

Pathways to Freedom: Political and Economic Lessons from Democratic Transitions

Speakers:

John Campbell, Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow, Africa Policy Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; Former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria (2004-2007); Coauthor, Pathways to Freedom, Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow and Director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative, and Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations; Coauthor and Coeditor, Pathways to Freedom, Terra Lawson-Remer, Fellow for Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy, Council on Foreign Relations; Coauthor and Coeditor, Pathways to Freedom

Presider:

Gideon Rose, Editor and Peter G. Peterson Chair, Foreign Affairs
June 19, 2013 5:30-6:00 p.m. - Cocktail Reception
6:00-6:45 p.m. - Discussion
6:45-7:15 p.m. - Cocktail Reception and Book Signing

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Roundtable Meeting

Investment Treaties: Winners and Losers

Speaker:

Jose E. Alvarez, Herbert and Rose Rubin Professor of International Law, New York University School of Law

Presider:

Terra Lawson-Remer, Fellow for Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy, Council on Foreign Relations
May 10, 2013

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Roundtable Meeting

Inequality and Global Financial Regulation

Speaker:

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Professor of International Affairs, Columbia University

Presider:

Terra Lawson-Remer, Fellow for Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy; Council on Foreign Relations
April 23, 2013

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Roundtable Meeting

Effects of Investment Treaties in the Global South

Speaker:

Lori Wallach, Director, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

Presider:

Terra Lawson-Remer, Fellow for Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy, Council on Foreign Relations
April 16, 2013

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Roundtable Meeting

Legal Empowerment and Justice for the Poor

Speakers:

Vivek Maru, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Namati, Michael Woolcock, Lead Social Development Specialist, Development Research Group, World Bank

Presider:

Terra Lawson-Remer, Fellow for Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy, Council on Foreign Relations
November 29, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Roundtable Meeting

Innovations for Open Government: Can Transparency Promote Accountability, Equity, and Economic Inclusion?

Speakers:

David Eaves, Open Innovation Expert, Warren Krafchik, Director, International Budget Partnership

Presider:

Terra Lawson-Remer, Fellow for Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy, Council on Foreign Relations
June 13, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Roundtable Meeting

Global Poverty and the Paradox of Plenty

Speakers:

Ian Gary, Policy Adviser, Oxfam America, Paolo De Sa, Sector Manager, Oil, Gas, and Mining Unit, World Bank

Presider:

Terra Lawson-Remer, Fellow for Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy, Council on Foreign Relations
May 16, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Roundtable Meeting

Collective Property Rights and Sustainable Development

Speakers:

Andrew Steer, Special Envoy for Climate Change, World Bank, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute

Presider:

Terra Lawson-Remer, Fellow for Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy, Council on Foreign Relations
March 29, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Press/Panels

Panel

French and American Development Aid Policies

The United States and France are among the biggest development aid donors, but none have reached the United Nations development aid goal for 2015. However, their development aid policies greatly contribute to fighting poverty in the world and improve education and health systems in developing countries. In light of these contributions and difficulties, CFR Fellow Terra Lawson-Remer and policy specialist at the United Nations Development Programme Thierry Soret compare French and American development aid policies and draw similarities and differences between them.

Listen

Video Interview

What America Thinks

CFR Fellow Terra Lawson-Remer and Michael A. Cohen of the Century Foundation discuss U.S. foreign policy and its relationship with the Islamic world.

Watch

Video Interview

What America Thinks

Terra Lawson-Remer, CFR fellow for Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy, discusses foreign policy and its role in the 2012 U.S. presidential election as well as the relationship between the United States and China.

Watch

Video Interview

The G8 Summit: Three Things to Know

Ahead of the Group of Eight (G8) meeting at Camp David on May 18-19, Terra Lawson-Remer highlights three things to watch: Will the United States deliver on food security? Can the G8 advance the "Arab Spring" transitions? Growth vs. Austerity?

Watch

Video Interview

The Backlash: Zuccotti Park and Beyond

Terra Lawson-Remer discusses the international dimensions and engagement of civil society on issues surrounding the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Watch

Bio

Terra Lawson-Remer is fellow for civil society, markets, and democracy at the Council on Foreign Relations, assistant professor of international affairs at The New School, where she serves as chair of the university's advisory committee on investor responsibility, and a Harvard Law School fellow. Previously, she was a senior advisor for international affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Dr. Lawson-Remer's work addresses opportunity and exclusion in the global economy. In this vein she examines poverty and inequality, property rights, natural resources and extractive industries, global economic governance and international economic law, the political economy of democratic transitions, social and economic rights, and rule of law and informal social norms. She has written numerous academic research articles and books on these issues, and worked and conducted field studies in Latin America, North and East Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific. She is co-creator of the Social and Economic Rights Fulfillment (SERF) index.

She previously held positions at the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research, Latham & Watkins LLP, Amnesty International, the Ethical Globalization Initiative, and the New York Civil Liberties Union, and consulted for the World Bank and United Nations. Long a committed civic leader, Dr. Lawson-Remer also previously worked as an organizer, action coordinator, and strategist for a variety of grassroots environmental and social justice organizations. She cofounded and directed STARC: Students Transforming and Resisting Corporations, a national membership-based organization advocating corporate responsibility in the face of increased globalization and greater public accountability by the World Bank, IMF, and WTO.

She earned her BA in ethics, politics, and economics from Yale University; her JD from New York University School of Law, where she was dean's merit scholar; and her PhD in political economy from New York University's law and society institute.