• Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law; Director, East Asian Legal Studies Program
  • alford@law.harvard.edu
  • http://hls.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/10010/Alford
  • Harvard Law School | Austin 301 | Cambridge, MA 02138

Research Interests: Law, Legal History, international law, Chinese legal history, disability

William P. Alford is a scholar of Chinese law and legal history. His books include To Steal a Book is an Elegant Offense: Intellectual Property Law in Chinese Civilization (Stanford University Press 1995), Raising the Bar: The Emerging Legal Profession in East Asia (Harvard East Asian Legal Studies 2007), 残疾人法律保障机制研究 (A Study of Legal Mechanisms to Protect Persons with Disabilities) (Huaxia Press 2008, with Wang Liming and Ma Yu’er), and Prospects for the Professions in China (Routledge 2011, with William Kirby and Kenneth Winston).

Professor Alford is the founding Chair of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability which provides pro bono services on issues of disability in China, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Vietnam and several other nations. He served from 2005 to 2014 on the board of directors of Special Olympics International (which serves individuals with intellectual disabilities in more than 180 nations) chairing its Research and Policy Committee and serving on its Executive Committee. In 2008, Special Olympics honored him for his work for persons with intellectual disabilities in China.

Professor Alford was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Geneva in 2010 and has been an honorary professor or fellow at Renmin University of China, Zhejiang University, the National College of Administration, and the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Science. In 2008, he was a finalist for the Law School’s Sacks-Freund Teaching Award. Among other honors are the inaugural O’Melveny & Myers Centennial Award, the Kluwer China Prize, the Qatar Pearls of Praise Award, an Abe (Japan) Fellowship, and endowed lectureships at several institutions, including Bryn Mawr College, Cornell Law School, Smith College, Trinity College, the University of Iowa, and the University of London. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Committee on US-China relations, he serves on university advisory boards and the editorial boards of learned journals in several jurisdictions.

At Harvard, Professor Alford has played a central role in formulating and then implementing the most substantial changes in the Law School’s curriculum in over a century, including the (well-received) requirement that all first year JD students take one of a set of specially devised international legal studies courses. During his time as Vice Dean, the Law School concluded its first linkages with foreign universities, made it possible for hundreds of students to study and work abroad, and expanded its graduate programs (especially for international students) while maintaining its policy of need-blind admission and need-based financial aid. He also chairs the nation’s oldest, largest and most comprehensive program concerning law in East Asia.

Professor Alford has served as a consultant to the U.S. government, the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, foreign governments, law firms, nongovernmental organizations, and corporations, and has been a dispute resolution panelist under the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement. He has met with current and previous presidents of China and Taiwan, and is one of a small number of foreign law specialists to have delivered an address at the Central Party School of the Chinese Communist Party.

安守廉教授是研究中国法律和法律历史的学者。他出版的书籍包括《偷书是一项高雅的罪行:中国文明中的知识产权法》,《标准的提高:东亚法律职业的出现》,《残疾人法律保障机制研究》,《中国职业的前途》。

Books

Prospects for the Professions in China (William P. Alford, Kenneth Winston & William C. Kirby eds., Routledge 2010).

William P. Alford & Yuanyuan Shen, “Have You Eaten, Have You Divorced? Debating the Meaning of Freedom in Marriage in China,” in Realms of Freedom in Modern China 234 (William C. Kirby ed., 2004).

William P. AlfordTo Steal a Book Is an Elegant Offense: Intellectual Property Law in Chinese Civilization (Stanford Univ. Press 1995).

Articles

William Alford, A Book Review of Legal Thoughts between the East and the West in the Multilevel Legal Order: A Liber Amicorum in Honour of Professor Herbert Han-Pao Ma (Chang-Fa Lo, Nigel Li & Tsai-Yu Lin eds., 2016), 12 Asian J. WTO & Int’l Health L. & Pol’y 201 (2017).

William P. Alford, Foreword, in Ideological Conflict and the Rule of Law in Contemporary China (Samuli Seppänen, Cambridge Univ. Press 2016).

William P. Alford, Editor’s Note, FOCUS: Disability Rights in China and in the World, 11 Frontiers of Law in China 1 (2016).

William P. Alford, Book Review: Yves Dezalay & Bryant G. GarthAsian Legal Revivals: Lawyers in the Shadow of Empire (2010), 63 U. Toronto L.J. 671 (2013).

Michael Waibel & William Alford, Technology Transferin 9 The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law 801 (Rüdiger Wolfrum ed., 2012).

William P. Alford, "Second Lawyers, First Principles": Lawyers, Rice-Roots Legal Workers, and the Battle Over Legal Professionalism in Chinain Prospects for the Professions in China 48 (William P. Alford, Kenneth Winston & William C. Kirby eds., 2010).

William P. Alford, Offenses Against the State in Chinese Law: Overviewin 4 The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History 249 (Stanley N. Katz ed., 2009).

William P. Alford & Michael Ashley Stein, Youngberg v. Romeo, in Encyclopedia of American Disability History, 989 (Susan Burch ed., Facts on File Library of American History, 2009).

Falu Baozhang Jizhi Yanjiu [A Study of Legal Mechanisms for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities] (Liming Wang, Yu'e Ma & William P. Alford eds., Huaxia Pub. House 2008).

William P. Alford, Of Lawyers Lost and Found: Searching for Legal Professionalism in the People's Republic of Chinain Raising the Bar: The Emerging Legal Profession in East Asia 287 (William P. Alford ed., 2007).

Raising the Bar: The Emerging Legal Profession in East Asia (William P. Alford ed., Harvard Univ. Press 2007).

Lionel Astor Sheridan, William P. Alford & Mary Ann Glendon, Legal Educationin Encyclopedia Britannica (2004).

Maynard E. Pirsig, Mary Ann Glendon & William P. Alford, Legal Ethicsin Encyclopedia Britannica (2004).

William P. Alford, The Legal Professionin Encyclopedia Britannica (2004).

William P. Alford, The More Law, The More...? Measuring Legal Reform in the People's Republic of Chinain How Far Across the River? Chinese Policy Reform at the Millennium (Nicholas C. Hope, Dennis Tao Yang & Mu Yang Li eds., 2003).

Historical Studies of Chinese Law: A Bibliography of Materials in Chinese and Japanese Published Between 1988 and 1994 (William P. Alford & Nongji Zhang eds., Harv. L. Sch. 2003).

William P. Alford & Chien-chang Wu, Qing China and the Legal Treatment of Mental Infirmity: A Preliminary Sketch in Tribute to Professor William C. Jones, 2 Wash. U. Global Stud. L. Rev. 187 (2003).

William P. Alford et al., The Human Dimensions of Pollution Policy Implementation: Air Quality in Rural China, 11 J. Contemp. China 495 (2002).

William P. Alford, Tribute to Professor Abram Chayes, A Man Without Boundaries, 42 Harv. Int'l L. J. 3 (2001).

William P. Alford & Benjamin L. Liebman, Clean Air, Clear Processes? The Struggle over Air Pollution Law in the People's Republic of China, 52 Hastings L. J. 703 (2001).

William P. Alford, Area and International Studies: Lawin International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences 711 (Neil J. Smelser & Paul B. Baltes eds., 2001).

William P. Alford, At a Crossroad: The Challenge of Implementing Chinese Environmental Law, Harv. China Rev. 10 (2001).

William P. Alford, Book Review, 1 J. Korean L. 173 (2001) (reviewing Recent Transformations in Korean Law and Society (Kyu Yoon ed., 2000)).

William P. Alford, Exporting "The Pursuit of Happiness", 113 Harv. L. Rev. 1677 (2000) (reviewing Thomas Carothers, Aiding Democracy Abroad: The Learning Curve (1999)).

A Bibliographical Survey of Malaysian Legal Materials (William P. Alford, ed., Harvard Research Guides to the Legal Systems of East and Southeast Asia, 2000).

William P. Alford, A Second Great Wall? China's Post-Cultural Revolution Project of Legal Construction, 11 Cultural Dynamics 193 (1999).

William P. Alford, Law? Law? What Law? Why Western Scholars of Chinese History and Society Have Not Had More to Say about Its Law, 23 Mod. China 398 (1997).

Alford, William P. & Yuanyuan Shen, Limits of the Law in Addressing China's Environmental Dilemma, 16 Stan. Envtl. L. J. 125 (1997).

William P. Alford, Making the World Safe for What? Intellectual Property Rights, Human Rights and Foreign Economic Policy in the Post-European Cold War World, 29 N.Y.U. J. Int'l L. & Pol. 135 (1997).

William P. Alford, Of Jeffersonian Visions: A Critique of Gary Jefferson's "China's Economic Future", J. Asian Econ. 597 (1997).

William P. Alford, Keeping up with the Jones (Standards): A Tribute to Professor William C. Jones, 74 Wash. U. L. Q. 541 (1996).

William P. Alford, Comment, Looking Beyond: Placing Area Studies Front and Center in Policy, Academia, and BeyondHarv. Asia Pac. Rev., Winter 1996-97, at 7, 1996.

William P. Alford, Tasselled Loafers for Barefoot Lawyers: Transformation and Tension in the World of Chinese Legal Workers, 1995 China Q. 22.

William P. Alford & Yuanyuan Shen, "Law is My Idol": John C.H. Wu and the Role of Legality and Spirituality in the Effort to Modernize Chinain Essays in Honour of Wang Tieya 43 (Ronald St. John Macdonald ed., 1994).

William P. Alford, How Theory Does—And Does Not—Matter: American Approaches to Intellectual Property Law in East Asia 13 UCLA Pac. Basin L. J. 8 (1994-1995).

William P. Alford, Double-Edged Swords Cut Both Ways: Law and Legitimacy in the People's Republic of China, 122 Daedalus, Spring 1993, at 45.

William P. Alford, Introduction: The North American Free Trade Agreement and the Need for Candor, 34 Harv. Int'l L. J. 293 (1993).

Alford, William P., Don't Stop Thinking about . . . Yesterday: Why There was No Indigenous Counterpart to Intellectual Property Law in Imperial China, J. Chinese L. 3 (1993).

William P. Alford, Intellectual Property, Trade and Taiwan: A GATT-Fly's View, 1992 Colum. Bus. L. Rev. 97.

William P. Alford, International Commercial Arbitration: An Idiosyncratic Overview, 1992 Korean Forum on Int'l Trade & Bus. L. 43.

William P. Alford, Making a Goddess of Democracy from Loose Sand: Thoughts on Human Rights in the People's Republic of Chinain Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspectives 65 (Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im ed., 1992).

William P. Alford "Seek Truth from Facts"—Especially When They Are Unpleasant: America's Understanding of China's Efforts at Law Reform, 8 UCLA Pac. Basin L. J. 177 (1990).

Chinese Living Law: An Interview with Professor William Alford, 7 Ariz. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 135 (1989).

William P. Alford, When is China Paraguay? An Examination of the Application of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws of the United States to China and Other "Nonmarket Economy" Nations, 61 S. Cal. L. Rev. 79 (1987).

William P. Alford, On the Limits of "Grand Theory" in Comparative Law, 61 Wash. L. Rev. 945 (1986).

William P. Alford, The Inscrutable Occidental? Implications of Roberto Unger's Uses and Abuses of the Chinese Past, 64 Tex. L. Rev. 915 (1986).

William P. Alford, Foreword, 4 UCLA Pac. Basin L. J. vii (1985).

William P. Alford, Of Arsenic and Old Laws: Looking Anew at Criminal Justice in Late Imperial China, 72 Cal. L. Rev. 1180 (1984).

William P. Alford, Zhu Qiwu and the Development of Criminal Law in the People's Republic of China, 2 UCLA Pac. Basin L. J. 60 (1983).

William P. Alford, Robert Van Gulik and the Judge Dee Mysteries, 12 Orientations, Nov. 1981, at 50.

William P. Alford, The Prospective Withdrawal of the United States from the International Labor Organization: Rationales and Implications, 17 Harv. Int'l L. J.623 (1976).

William P. Alford, At a Crossroad: The Challenge of Implementing Chinese Environmental Law, 3 Harv. China Rev. 10 (2001).

William P. Alford, Book Review, 1 J. Korean L. 173 (2001) (reviewing Recent Transformations in Korean Law and Society (Kyu Yoon ed., 2000)).

William P. Alford, Exporting "The Pursuit of Happiness", 113 Harv. L. Rev. 1677 (2000) (reviewing Thomas Carothers, Aiding Democracy Abroad: The Learning Curve (1999)).

A Bibliographical Survey of Malaysian Legal Materials (William P. Alford, ed., Harvard Research Guides to the Legal Systems of East and Southeast Asia, 2000).

William P. Alford, A Second Great Wall? China's Post-Cultural Revolution Project of Legal Construction, 11 Cultural Dynamics 193 (1999).

William P. Alford, Law? Law? What Law? Why Western Scholars of Chinese History and Society Have Not Had More to Say about Its Law, 23 Mod. China 398 (1997).

Alford, William P. & Yuanyuan Shen, Limits of the Law in Addressing China's Environmental Dilemma, 16 Stan. Envtl. L. J. 125 (1997).

William P. Alford, Making the World Safe for What? Intellectual Property Rights, Human Rights and Foreign Economic Policy in the Post-European Cold War World, 29 N.Y.U. J. Int'l L. & Pol. 135 (1997).

William P. Alford, Of Jeffersonian Visions: A Critique of Gary Jefferson's "China's Economic Future", 8 J. Asian Econ. 597 (1997).

William P. Alford, Keeping up with the Jones (Standards): A Tribute to Professor William C. Jones, 74 Wash. U. L. Q. 541 (1996).

William P. Alford, Comment, Looking Beyond: Placing Area Studies Front and Center in Policy, Academia, and BeyondHarv. Asia Pac. Rev., Winter 1996-97, at 7, 1996.

William P. Alford, Tasselled Loafers for Barefoot Lawyers: Transformation and Tension in the World of Chinese Legal Workers, 1995 China Q. 22.

William P. Alford & Yuanyuan Shen, "Law is My Idol": John C.H. Wu and the Role of Legality and Spirituality in the Effort to Modernize Chinain Essays in Honour of Wang Tieya 43 (Ronald St. John Macdonald ed., 1994).

William P. Alford, How Theory Does—And Does Not—Matter: American Approaches to Intellectual Property Law in East Asia 13 UCLA Pac. Basin L. J. 8 (1994-1995).

William P. Alford, Double-Edged Swords Cut Both Ways: Law and Legitimacy in the People's Republic of China, 122 Daedalus, Spring 1993, at 45.

William P. Alford, Introduction: The North American Free Trade Agreement and the Need for Candor, 34 Harv. Int'l L. J. 293 (1993).

Alford, William P., Don't Stop Thinking about . . . Yesterday: Why There was No Indigenous Counterpart to Intellectual Property Law in Imperial China, 7 J. Chinese L. 3 (1993).

William P. Alford, Intellectual Property, Trade and Taiwan: A GATT-Fly's View, 1992 Colum. Bus. L. Rev. 97.

William P. Alford, International Commercial Arbitration: An Idiosyncratic Overview, 1992 Korean Forum on Int'l Trade & Bus. L. 43.

William P. Alford, Making a Goddess of Democracy from Loose Sand: Thoughts on Human Rights in the People's Republic of Chinain Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspectives 65 (Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im ed., 1992).

William P. Alford, "Seek Truth from Facts"—Especially When They Are Unpleasant: America's Understanding of China's Efforts at Law Reform, 8 UCLA Pac. Basin L. J. 177 (1990).

Chinese Living Law: An Interview with Professor William Alford, 7 Ariz. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 135 (1989).

William P. Alford, When is China Paraguay? An Examination of the Application of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws of the United States to China and Other "Nonmarket Economy" Nations, 61 S. Cal. L. Rev. 79 (1987).

William P. Alford, On the Limits of "Grand Theory" in Comparative Law, 61 Wash. L. Rev. 945 (1986).

William P. Alford, The Inscrutable Occidental? Implications of Roberto Unger's Uses and Abuses of the Chinese Past, 64 Tex. L. Rev. 915 (1986).

William P. Alford, Foreword, 4 UCLA Pac. Basin L. J. vii (1985).

William P. Alford, Of Arsenic and Old Laws: Looking Anew at Criminal Justice in Late Imperial China, 72 Cal. L. Rev. 1180 (1984).

William P. Alford, Zhu Qiwu and the Development of Criminal Law in the People's Republic of China, 2 UCLA Pac. Basin L. J. 60 (1983).

William P. Alford, Robert Van Gulik and the Judge Dee Mysteries, 12 Orientations, Nov. 1981, at 50.

William P. Alford, The Prospective Withdrawal of the United States from the International Labor Organization: Rationales and Implications, 17 Harv. Int'l L. J.623 (1976).

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies