Ukraine: The Promise and Perils of Legal Reform and Governance, in Wartime and Reconstruction

This course will consider Ukraine’s Herculean political-economic and legal/regulatory challenges managing social and economic cohesion during wartime while simultaneously preparing for a healthy and durable post-war reconstruction.

If you asked Ukrainians what is most important in this time of war, they may say that we need military assistance to win the war, we need to keep the economy afloat, and we need to make progress on EU accession in order to secure the future of the country.

With those demands in mind – setting aside the military component, in the first week at Stanford we will start by considering Ukraine’s unique history and political economy – and how that political economy has changed during the war – drawing in potential guest lecturers from Stanford and Ukraine. Too often reform proposals do not take into account the history and political economy of the countries in which those reforms are proposed. This course will endeavor to not repeat that mistake.

The course will then focus on support for key policies, institutions (such as the judiciary and anti-corruption bodies) and infrastructure (such as electricity, gas, rail, and communications infrastructure) that will drive Ukraine into its post-war reconstruction.

Finally, the course will consider the essential legal, regulatory and governance pathways Ukraine will need to follow – from legal aspects of war damages for reconstruction, to anticorruption, to procurement and competition law, to judicial reform, to the EU accession process – essential for a prosperous and safe post-war Ukraine in the heart of Europe. This part of the course will be supplemented with guest lecturers with direct experience in these areas, including, for example, Ukrainian government officials, private sector and civil society actors.

The first week of this course will be at Stanford and the second week will be in Warsaw.

LAW 5046 | 2 Units | Grading: Law Mandatory P/R/F


  • Director of the Rule of Law Program, and Lecturer in Law

Erik Jensen holds joint appointments at Stanford Law School and Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. He is Lecturer in Law, Director of the Rule of Law Program at Stanford Law School, an Affiliated Core Faculty at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, and Senior Advisor for Governance and Law at The Asia Foundation.

  • JD ‘01, General Counsel, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Mr. Strauss has extensive commercial and development market experience. He began his career in 2001 in the London and Paris offices of the New York law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. After five years, he joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as Legal Counsel. From the IMF, he went on to serve at World Bank Group’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency as Senior Counsel.