Benjamin van Rooij, John S. and Marilyn Long Chair Professor for US-China Business and Law at University of California, Irvine

Our guest speaker on Thursday, September 18 was Benjamin van Rooij (full bio below), the John S. and Marilyn Long Chair Professor for US-China Business and Law at University of California, Irvine. Prof. van Rooij’s research interests include China’s compliance challenges, tax evasion by lawyers in China, and prosecutorial public interest litigation in environmental cases.


Benjamin van Rooij is the John S. and Marilyn Long Professor of U.S.-China Business and Law and academic director of the John S. and Marilyn Long U.S.-China Institute for Business and Law at University of California, Irvine. By affiliation he is Professor of Chinese Law and Regulation at the Faculty of Law at Amsterdam University and director of the Netherlands China Law Centre. Also he is honorary professor at Wuhan University School of Law and long-term visiting professor at Yunnan University School of Law. In 2010, he was visiting faculty at New York University School of Law as a member of the Hauser Global Faculty.
Prof. van Rooij’s research focuses on implementation of law in comparative perspective. Since 2000 he has studied the implementability of legislation, regulatory law enforcement and compliance, and rights invocation and legal empowerment. A central theme is how implementation of law can be improved in the context of emerging markets where weak enforcement and widespread violations of law create a vicious circle undermining compliance. Using insights from sociology of law, criminology, political science and social psychology he uses anthropological methods to study compliance behavior and motivations and public and private enforcement practices. He uses innovative fieldwork data both to seek improvement to persistent implementation problems as well as to reorient existing regulatory, criminological and socio-legal theories that so far have yet to adapt to data from countries such as China.

Fields of law studies include environmental law, land law, labor law, food safety law, and taxation.

Prof. van Rooij has served as an adviser to the Dutch Prime Minister, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment.nd Clevenger of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.