26 Jun 2024 15:00 (BST) I 10:00 (EST) Online



  • Joanna Kusiak (Kings College, University of Cambridge/ Nine Dots Fellow CRASSH)
  • Katharina Pistor (Columbia Law School)


Joanna Page (Director CRASSH / University of Cambridge)


To celebrate the launch of Joanna Kusiak’s Nine Dots Prize-winning book, Radically Legal: Berlin constitutes the future, we invite you to an online conversation between Dr Kusiak and Professor Pistor. Both examine how law, politics and democracy come up against corporate finance and property rights in relation to housing.

In her work of creative non-fiction, scholar-activist and Nine Dots Prize winner Joanna Kusiak tells the story of a grassroots movement that convinced a million Berliners to pop the speculative housing bubble. She offers a vision of urban housing as democratically held commons, legally managed by a radically new institutional model that works through democratic conflicts. Moving between interdisciplinary analysis and her own personal story, Kusiak connects the dots between the past and the present, the local and the global, and shows the potential of radically legal politics as a means of strengthening our democracies and reviving the rule of law. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.

Visit the Nine Dots Prize website for more information about the prize, its partners, board and previous winners.

If you have specific accessibility needs for this event please get in touch. We will do our best to accommodate any requests.

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Speaker Biographies

Joanna Kusiak is a scholar-activist who lives in Berlin and works at the University of Cambridge. Born in Poland, she has been equally shaped by the emancipatory tradition of the Solidarność (solidarity) movement and by the brutality of the neoliberal transformation. Her work focuses on urban land, housing crises, and the progressive potential of law. In 2021 she was one of the spokespeople of Deutsche Wohnen & Co enteignen, Berlin’s successful referendum campaign to expropriate stock-listed landlords. She also writes and performs poetry. She is the winner of the 2022-23 Nine Dots Prize.

Katharina Pistor is Edwin B. Parker Professor of Comparative Law at Columbia Law School. She is a scholar and writer on corporate governance, money and finance, property rights, and comparative law and legal institutions.

She is the author or co-author of nine books. Her most recent book, The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality, examines how assets such as land, private debt, business organizations, or knowledge are transformed into capital through contract law, property rights, collateral law, and trust, corporate, and bankruptcy law. The Code of Capital was named one of the best books of 2019 by the Financial Times and Business Insider. As the director of the Center on Global Legal Transformation, Pistor directs the center’s work to develop research projects and organize conferences to examine ways in which law shapes global relations and how they, in turn, transform the law.

Before joining Columbia Law School in 2001, Pistor held teaching and research positions at Harvard Law School, the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Law in Hamburg. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, New York University School of Law, Frankfurt University, London School of Economics, and Oxford University.

Joanna Page is Director of CRASSH and Professor of Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge.

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