Welcome to Dr Chris Szabla, the first of three Global Academic Fellows in the second round. The fellows were selected following a global competition of accomplished postdoctoral law applicants.
Dr Szabla researches in the areas of international, comparative, and transnational law and legal history, with a focus on borders and migration. He holds a JD from Harvard Law School and an MA and PhD from Cornell University, where he taught history and international law and completed a dissertation examining the international law and global governance of migration from the nineteenth century to the present. At HKU he plans to extend his research on contemporary borders, including investigating the legal entanglements of immigration preclearance facilities and the use of surveillance technologies at borders. He also plans to begin a new historical research project focused on the development of transnational norms of border governance in colonial Asia, investigating the influence of local innovations and common commercial pressures.
Dr Szabla's research has attracted sponsorship from organisations including the Social Science Research Council, the Council for European Studies, and the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, and has been recognised by the American Association of Law Libraries. His scholarship includes work focused on, inter alia, the reform of global migration governance, the place of migration in the international law of development, decolonisation in the history of global migration governance, the intellectual history of free movement, and the international law of armed conflict. He has also organised international scholarly collaborations focused on law and migration. Prior to his academic career he worked as an attorney in New York, and has studied and/or lived in Berlin, Geneva, Paris, London, and in Cairo, where he also provided legal assistance to refugees.