Mark Barenberg

Isidor and Sulzbacher Professor of Law

Mark Barenberg

Isidor and Sulzbacher Professor of Law

Mark Barenberg is an Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and co-director of the Program on Labor Law and Policy at Columbia Law School. He is a notable expert in the fields of labor and employment law, international labor rights, global economic institutions, constitutional law, and legal political theory. Barenberg has been the principal draftsperson of many federal, state, and local laws regulating labor conditions in companies supplying U.S. manufacturers and governments.

Prior to joining the Law School's faculty in 1987, Barenberg taught social theory, economic history, and labor relations at Harvard University. Barenberg served as a law clerk to the Honorable Eugene H. Nickerson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York from 1982 to 1983. He also practiced labor, constitutional, and international law at the Rabionwitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman law firm.

Barenberg was a visiting professor at Peking University and Yale Law School. The European University Institute also hosted Barenberg as a visiting fellow in 2009.

Barenberg is a member of the International Commission on Labor Rights, the Law and Society Association, and the Labor and Employment Relations Association. He is an independent expert of the International Labor Organization and a director of the Worker Rights Consortium. Barenberg serves as chairperson for the Workforce Investment Network.

His publications include: “Toward a Democratic Model of Private Labour Monitoring,” (B. Bercusson and C. Estlund, eds.), Regulating Labour in the Wake of Globalisation, Hart, 2008; “Legitimacy and Capacity in Private Labor Monitoring,” (Jeffrey Hirsch, ed.), Proceedings of NYU 57th Annual Conference on Labor, 2008; and “Corporate Social Responsibility and Labor Rights in US-Based Corporations,” (M. Feher, ed.), Non-Governmental Politics, MIT, 2007.

Barenberg received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1978, where he served as editor of the Harvard Law Review, as well as conducting graduate study in economics and history at Harvard University. He earned is M.Sc from the London School of Economics in 1982. He graduated from Harvard College in 1977.

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1982
  • M.Sc., London School of Economics, 1978
  • B.A., Harvard College, 1977
Areas of Expertise
  • Labor and employment law
  • International labor rights
  • Constitutional law
  • Global economic institutions
  • Legal and political theory
  • “Toward a Democratic Model of Private Labour Monitoring,” (B. Bercusson and C. Estlund, eds.), Regulating Labour in the Wake of Globalisation, Hart, 2008
  • “Legitimacy and Capacity in Private Labor Monitoring,” (Jeffrey Hirsch, ed.), Proceedings of NYU 57th Annual Conference on Labor, 2008
  • “Corporate Social Responsibility and Labor Rights in US-Based Corporations,” (M. Feher, ed.), Non-Governmental Politics, MIT, 2007
  • “The Impact of the Free Trade Area of the Americas on Democratic Governance,” (Dani Rodrik, et al., eds.), The FTAA and Beyond: Prospects for Integration in the Americas, Harvard University Press, 2004
  • “Workers: The Past and Future of Labor Law Scholarship,” (M. Tushnet and P. Crane, eds.), Oxford Handbook of Legal Scholarship, 2003
  • “Enforcement of International Labor Rights In United States Law,” Comparative Law and Politics Review, 2002
  • “Private Monitoring of Labor Rights in Global Supply Chains: Indonesia, Mexico, and the United States, Worker Rights Consortium Reports,” 2001–2002
  • “Coordinated Decentralization in Supranational Labor Regimes: Lessons from U.S. Labor Federalism,” (D. Esty and D. Geradin, eds.), Regulatory Competition and Economic Integration: Comparative Perspectives, Oxford University Press, 2001
  • “Labor Federalism in the United States: Lessons for International Labor Rights,” 3 Journal of International Economic Law 303, 2000
  • “Constitutional Constraints on Redistribution,” Columbia Journal of European Law, 1999
  • “A Critical Mapping of the Law of ‘Social Dumping’: Lessons from U.S. Federalism,” 1996
  • “Democracy and Domination in Labor Law: From Bureaucratic to Flexible Production,” 94 Columbia Law Review 753, 1994
  • “The Political Economy of the Wagner Act: Power, Symbol, and Workplace Cooperation,” 106 Harvard Law Review 1379, 1993
Remarks and Testimony
  • “Corporate Social Responsibility in the U.S.: Effectiveness and Legitimacy,” European University Institute, March 2009
  • “Can Private Experimentation Reinvigorate Public Regulation? The Case of U.S. Labor and Employment Law,” European University Institute, March 2009
  • “Labor Rights or Human Rights? Conceptual Frameworks,” Columbia Law School, February 2009
  • “An Institutional Architecture for Bilateral, Regional, and Multilateral Enforcement of Labor Rights,” Economic Policy Institute, February 2008
  • “International and Domestic Constraints on State and Local Sweatfree Ordinances,” Columbia Law School, April 2007
  • “The Privatized Fight for Workers’ Free Association,” Columbia Law School, February 2006
  • “Monitoring Systems to Enforce Wage and Hour Settlements,” Columbia Law School, February 2005
  • “International Governance: Global Labor Rights,” Columbia Law School, January 2004
  • “Labor Rights in Trade Agreements: The US-Cambodia Bilateral Agreement, Appel Conference on Regulation of Foreign Direct Investment,” Columbia Law School, March 2003
  • “Transnational Regulatory Networks: Labor Rights,” University of Zurich, December 2003
  • “The Impact of the Free Trade Area of the Americas on Hemispheric Governance,” Harvard University and Inter-American Development Bank, June and December, 2002
  • “Emerging Forms of International Labor Regulation,” Columbia University Seminar on Globalization and Social Movements, October 2002
  • “Public and Private Mechanisms for Promoting International Labor Rights,” Commission on International Labor Rights, Geneva, January 2002
  • “Labor Rights as Human Rights,” University of Amsterdam, July 2001
  • “Engaging Corporations in Dialogue on Human Rights,” Harvard University, June 2001
Professional Experience
  • European University Institute, Summer 1999; Yale Law School, Spring 1997 and Fall 1997; Peking University, Fall 1995
  • Eugene H. Nickerson, Department of Justice, Eastern District of New York, 1982–1983
American Constitutional Law
Constitutional Law
Employment Law
Labor Law
Reading Group in Urban Development Law and Policy
S. Doctoral Workshop
S. Labor Rights in a Global Economy

Columbia Law School

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