Cornell University Cornell Law School

About Meridian 180

Meridian 180 is a community of exceptional thinkers—legal scholars, business people, lawyers, anthropologists, policymakers, economists, political scientists, bureaucrats, sociologists, religious leaders, and philosophers from the Asia-Pacific region, the United States, and around the world—who share a belief in the potential for substantive dialogue between visionary individuals to inspire productive and often unexpected changes in policies, ideas, and individual life projects.

Our goal is to work toward solutions for the next generation of transpacific relations, and to devise innovative ways of confronting new challenges and tensions that threaten the Pacific Rim region. In a time defined by shifts in the global balance of economic power and growing rifts and political realignments within Asia and across the Pacific, Meridian 180’s members work together to create a space for shared learning and experimentation, for risk-taking and the incubation of new ideas, and for the broadening of networks across national borders, disciplinary boundaries, and academic, private, and regulatory cultures.

Meridian 180’s innovative online platform allows members to converse remotely in English, Chinese, or Japanese, with translation provided by postdoctoral fellows at the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture at Cornell Law School. These conversations are often continued in person—in small groups focused on particular topics and also in larger conferences with broader focuses—where members strengthen relationships, find new partners in collaboration, and share perspectives on problems that are deeply transnational in scope: issues of trade, financial regulation, environmental security, social welfare, differences in legal cultures, activist movements, and the nature and function of government, to name a few. Insights sparked in these conversations are then disseminated, with help from Meridian 180’s postdoctoral fellows,in academic publications, newspaper articles, and policy papers throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Meridian 180 distinguishes itself from other online venues of its kind by fostering fresh conversation that is serious, substantive, technical, theoretical, challenging, and interdisciplinary. While access to these dialogues is presently reserved to members in order to ensure that the community’s dialogues are as frank, as open, and as honest as possible, summaries of some of these conversations are available on the public section of the website.