University of St. Thomas Law Journal
Fall 2021 Symposium

Two There Are that Rule the World: Private Power and Political Authority

The University of St. Thomas Law Journal invites the community to attend our Fall symposium.

The world has entered an age of widening economic inequality. And a prominent feature of that inequality is the rise of private power. Billionaires command the resources that were once monopolized by states. We see this played out as Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson raced each other into space.

The rise of private power, however, has grave implications for the democratic process. How is that power to be held accountable? Major donors gain private access to politicians. Lobbying firms draft statutes. The principle of free choice – fundamental to areas of law like contracts and employment relations – looks increasingly fictitious and unreal. The University of St. Thomas Law Journal is hosting a conference intended to examine a series of issues associated with the emergence of private power on unparalleled scale.

The symposium will address the following themes:

  • 1. Power Theory
  • 2. Democratic Theory
  • 3. Comparative and International Perspectives
  • 4. Campaign Finance and Political Reform
  • 5. Labor and Employment
  • 6. Corporate Power and Accountability

Friday, November 19, 2021 | 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM (CLE credits applied for)



  • Michael Every, RaboResearch Head of Financial Markets Research, Asia-Pacific. The Power of the Powerful.
  • Asen Velinov, Shanghai Jiaotong University. Private Power and Political Authority: The China View.
  • Dr. Neelam Seam, Department Head – IPEM Law Academy. The Conversion of Democracy into Elected Autocracy: Critical Analysis of India.
  • Professor Zephyr Teachout, Fordham Law School. Surveillance Wages: Private Governing power and the Future of Work.
  • Professor David Schultz, Distinguished University Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies – Hamline University. Justice Brandeis' Dilemma Revisited: The Privileged Position of Corporate Power in American Democracy.
  • Professor Eugene Mazo, Seton Hall University Law School. Property and Voting.
  • Professor Erik Loomis, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies – University of Rhode Island. Reigning in Global Labor Exploitation: How We Can Create Corporate Accountability in a Globalized Capitalist System. 
  • Professor Eric Boos, University of Idaho – College of Law. Moral Imperative—Legal Requirement: Why Poverty Law and International Human Rights Should be Required Courses in Law School.
  • Courtney Hostetler, Senior Counsel, Free Speech for People.


Note to in-person attendees: In the interests of protecting our community, we strongly urge all guests of the university to be fully vaccinated before visiting our campus. Further, face coverings are required in all indoor, public spaces regardless of vaccination status. If you feel sick, please stay home.

Remote attendance will be an option. The Zoom link for remote attendees will be sent out closer to the event.

For More Information, Please Contact:

Megan Massie
Symposium Editor, University of St. Thomas Law Journal

For information about past UST Law Journal Symposia visit our Symposium Archive page.