Climate change, global financial shocks, the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – the international community seems to be lurching from crisis to crisis, with no apparent end in sight. Even in Aotearoa New Zealand, where we feel relatively sheltered, we are not immune from the rising tide of social issues facing other countries, be it economic inequality, political extremism or violence. 

Dr Guy Fiti Sinclair is a Samoan-Kiwi lawyer and historian raised in Papua New Guinea. In this talk, he will provide a historical perspective on the shifting fortunes of international law and governance over the past century. From empires to nation-states, from international organisations to markets, and from global to regional governance – he will offer insight to help you understand the current set of international crises, who is trying to control them, and how.


Dr Guy Fiti Sinclair is an Associate Professor at Auckland Law School. A Samoan New Zealander born and raised in Papua New Guinea, he studied law and history at the University of Auckland. Guy practised as a commercial lawyer for 10 years before completing a doctorate in international law at New York University School of Law. He has published widely in international law journals. His book To Reform the World: International Organizations and the Making of Modern States (Oxford University Press, 2017) won the 2018 Book Prize of the European Society of International Law.

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Last updated: 13 July 2022