Faculty Publications

Legal Studies faculty write on the relationship of law to issues of race, gender, colonialism, technology, and beyond.
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     Criminality in Context

    Craig Haney, Criminality in Context: The Psychological Foundations of Criminal Justice Reform (2020)

    This book provides a pathbreaking and comprehensive social contextual analysis of criminal behavior that is intended to serve as the psychological basis for fundamental criminal justice reform. Building on decades of both studying and working at the front lines of the criminal justice system, Haney argues that the conventional model of criminal behavior (or what he terms the “crime master narrative”)—that assumes that crime is caused by the evil acts of bad people is an increasingly anachronistic view that cannot bear the weight of contemporary psychological data and theory. He meticulously reviews the evidence that clearly demonstrates the way in which past history and present circumstances shape the life course, focusing especially on the criminogenic aspects of social, economic, and racial injustice. Haney argues that meaningful and lasting criminal justice reform depends on changing the basic narrative about who commits crime and why, and offers a carefully framed blueprint for making the criminal justice system fairer and more equitable and approaching crime control through a model of proactive, structural prevention rather than merely reactive punishment.


    surrogate.pngNeda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora, Surrogate Humanity: Race, Robots, and the Politics of Technological Futures (2019)

    In Surrogate Humanity Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora trace the ways in which robots, artificial intelligence, and other technologies serve as surrogates for human workers within a labor system entrenched in racial capitalism and patriarchy. Analyzing myriad technologies, from sex robots and military drones to sharing-economy platforms, Atanasoski and Vora show how liberal structures of antiblackness, settler colonialism, and patriarchy are fundamental to human---machine interactions, as well as the very definition of the human. While these new technologies and engineering projects promise a revolutionary new future, they replicate and reinforce racialized and gendered ideas about devalued work, exploitation, dispossession, and capitalist accumulation. Yet, even as engineers design robots to be more perfect versions of the human—more rational killers, more efficient workers, and tireless companions—the potential exists to develop alternative modes of engineering and technological development in ways that refuse the racial and colonial logics that maintain social hierarchies and inequality.

    chinook.pngJon D. Daehnke, Chinook Resilience: Heritage and Cultural Revitalization on the Lower Columbia River (2017)

    Chinook Resilience is a heritage ethnography done in collaboration with the Chinook Indian Nation, and it traces the complex politics of cultural heritage, Indigenous identity, and colonial legacies on the Columbia River. As a non-federally recognized tribal nation, the Chinook often face challenges in their efforts to claim and control cultural heritage and history and to assert a right to place on the Columbia River. But despite these challenges, the Chinook continue to move forward. Chinook Resilience focuses on Chinook participation in archaeological projects and sites of public history, as well as the tribe’s central role in the revitalization of canoe culture in the Pacific Northwest. Canoe culture provides an embodied form of heritage, one steeped in reciprocity and protocol, and one that offers a tribally relevant and decolonized approach to cultural survival and resilience.


    fedaralist.pngDan Wirls, The Federalist Papers and Institutional Power In American Political Development (2015)

    This book reconnects The Federalist Papers to the study of American politics and political development, arguing that the papers contain previously unrecognized theory of institutional power, a theory that enlarges and refines the contribution of the papers to political theory, but also reconnects the papers to the study of American politics.







    islamization.pngCamilo Gómez-Rivas, Law and the Islamization of Morocco under the Almoravids: The Fatwās of Ibn Rushd al-Jadd to the Far Maghrib (2015)

    Law and the Islamization of Morocco under the Almoravids: The Fatwās of Ibn Rushd al-Jadd to the Far Maghrib investigates the development of legal institutions in the Far Maghrib during its unification with al-Andalus under the Almoravids (434-530/1042-1147). A major contribution to our understanding of the twelfth-century Maghrib and the foundational role played by the Almoravids, it posits that political unification occurred alongside urban transformation and argues that legal institutions developed in response the social needs of the growing urban spaces as well as to the administrative needs of the state. Such social needs included the regulation of market exchange, the settlement of commercial disputes, and the privatization and individualization of property. 



     fragile-state.pngMark Massoud, Law’s Fragile State: Colonial, Authoritarian, and Humanitarian Legacies in Sudan (2014)

    ** Winner of the 2014 Herbert Jacob Book Award, Law and Society Association

    How do a legal order and the rule of law develop in a war-torn state? Using his field research in Sudan, the author uncovers how colonial administrators, postcolonial governments and international aid agencies have used legal tools and resources to promote stability and their own visions of the rule of law amid political violence and war in Sudan. Tracing the dramatic development of three forms of legal politics - colonial, authoritarian and humanitarian - this book contributes to a growing body of scholarship on law in authoritarian regimes and on human rights and legal empowerment programs in the Global South. Refuting the conventional wisdom of a legal vacuum in failed states, this book reveals how law matters deeply even in the most extreme cases of states still fighting for political stability.

     developing-destinies.pngBarbara Rogoff, Developing Destinies: A Mayan Midwife and Town (2014)

    ** Winner of the 2014 Eleanor E. Maccoby Book Award

    Born with the destiny of becoming a Mayan sacred midwife, Chona Pérez has carried on centuries-old traditional Indigenous American birth and healing practices over her 85 years. At the same time, Chona developed new approaches to the care of pregnancy, newborns, and mothers based on her own experience and ideas. In this way, Chona has contributed to both the cultural continuities and cultural changes of her town over the decades.

    In Developing Destinies, Barbara Rogoff illuminates how individuals worldwide build on cultural heritage from prior generations and at the same time create new ways of living. Throughout Chona's lifetime, her Guatemalan town has continued to use longstanding Mayan cultural practices, such as including children in a range of community activities and encouraging them to learn by observing and contributing. But the town has also transformed dramatically since the days of Chona's own childhood. For instance, although Chona's upbringing included no formal schooling, some of her grandchildren have gone on to attend university and earn scholarly degrees. The lives of Chona and her town provide extraordinary examples of how cultural practices are preserved even as they are adapted and modified.

    Developing Destinies is an engaging narrative of one remarkable person's life and the life of her community that blends psychology, anthropology, and history to reveal the integral role that culture plays in human development. With extensive photographs and accounts of Mayan family life, medical practices, birth, child development, and learning, Rogoff adeptly shows that we can better understand the role of culture in our lives by examining how people participate in cultural practices. This landmark book brings theory alive with fascinating ethnographic findings that advance our understanding of childhood, culture, and change.

    final-passages.pngGregory E. O'Malley, Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619-1807 (2014)

    ** 2015 James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History, American Historical Association
    ** 2015 Morris D. Forkosch Prize, American Historical Association
    ** 2015 Frank L. and Harriet C. Owsley Award, Southern Historical Association
    ** 2015 Elsa Goveia Book Prize, Association of Caribbean Historians

    Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619-1807 (University of North Carolina Press, 2014) explores the trafficking of enslaved African people between American colonies, revealing that traders forced hundreds of thousands of captives to continue their journeys after surviving the infamous Middle Passage across the Atlantic. Colonial merchants purchased enslaved people in American ports only to transship them for resale, often over long distances and in different empires. Building on a database of over seven thousand intercolonial slave trading voyages compiled from port records, newspapers, and merchant accounts, Final Passages identifies and quantifies the major routes of this trade, showing that nearly one in five survivors of the Middle Passage to British America quickly boarded new vessels bound for other colonies. Exploring the importance of such trafficking from both captives’ and traders’ perspectives, Final Passages shows that intercolonial movements added grave dangers for captives and shaped their transfers of African cultures to the Americas. Meanwhile, for traders, trafficking enslaved people facilitated the creation of intercolonial commercial networks across imperial lines and between North American and Caribbean colonies, enabling profitable trade not only of people but also of British manufactured goods. Including these final passages in our analysis of the slave trade enhances understandings of what was gained from the commodification of African people and what it cost.  


    shaped-nation.pngMelanie Jean Springer, How the States Shaped the Nation: American Electoral Institutions and Voter Turnout, 1920-2000 (2014)

    This work explores the institutional basis for varying voter turnout rates in the United States throughout the twentieth century. Given the importance of political participation for understanding American democracy, it is not surprising that the study of turnout is a flourishing industry within political science. Yet, most systematic work on the topic has been conducted from a behavioral perspective often ignoring the importance of political institutions and the role of the American states in shaping participation rates, especially historically. Advancing a general theory of participation, this work aims to link research on voting behavior and political institutions. It explores the underpinnings and consequences of electoral federalism over time, highlighting the numerous state electoral institutions, both restrictive and expansive, that have been instrumental in shaping American elections and voting behavior throughout the twentieth century. Existing research focused exclusively on cost-reducing reforms, or on the effect of institutions over a limited period of time, lacks the scope necessary to comprehensively evaluate the effects of institutional change on American elections. Instead, this work places current reforms in their historical context and, using an original data-set, explores the evolution of state electoral institutions and their varying effects on turnout rates in the American states from 1920-2000. In doing so, it provides a comprehensive examination of the institutionalization of voting in the American states throughout the twentieth century while highlighting regional and state-by-state variation, and contributing a historical basis for understanding institutional change that is certain to inform electoral reform discussions into the twenty-first century.

    rise.pngRyan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner, The Rise of the Naked Economy:  How to Benefit from the Changing Workplace (2013)

    What happens when work is no longer a place but a state of mind: when the trappings that have defined the economy as we knew it are stripped away and we start from the bare essence of what it means to make a living? From corner coffee shops to Fortune 500 companies, workers from all different backgrounds are creating a new reality and prosperity. The Rise of the Naked Economy shows readers how to achieve both personal and professional success in an economy that does not guarantee lifetime employment. Pioneers Coonerty and Neuner report from the front lines on the future of work. From the recently graduated to the recently laid off, this book covers how the rise in non-traditional employment calls for a new infrastructure, strategy, and attitude for workers, companies, and communities alike. Through interviews with the people, companies, and policymakers who are leading the change and already profiting from it, The Rise of the Naked Economy provides an optimistic, humorous, and inspirational vision for readers who want to reclaim their lives and livelihoods.  


    humanitarian.pngNeda Atanasoski, Humanitarian Violence: The U.S. Deployment of Diversity (2013)

    Humanitarian Violence considers U.S. militarism—humanitarian militarism—during the Vietnam War, the Soviet-Afghan War, and the 1990s wars of secession in the former Yugoslavia. Neda Atanasoski reveals a system of postsocialist imperialism based on humanitarian ethics, identifying a discourse of race that focuses on ideological and cultural differences and makes postsocialist and Islamic nations the targets of U.S. disciplining violence.

    What this book brings to light—through novels, travel narratives, photojournalism, films, news media, and political rhetoric—is in fact a system of postsocialist imperialism based on humanitarian ethics. In the fiction of the United States as a multicultural haven, which morally underwrites the nation’s equally brutal waging of war and making of peace, parts of the world are subject to the violence of U.S. power because they are portrayed to be homogeneous and racially, religiously, and sexually intolerant—and thus permanently in need of reform. The entangled notions of humanity and atrocity that follow from such mediations of war and crisis have refigured conceptions of racial and religious freedom in the post–Cold War era. The resulting cultural narratives, Atanasoski suggests, tend to racialize ideological differences—whereas previous forms of imperialism racialized bodies. In place of the European racial imperialism, U.S. settler colonialism, and pre–civil rights racial constructions that associated racial difference with a devaluing of nonwhite bodies, Humanitarian Violence identifies an emerging discourse of race that focuses on ideological and cultural differences and makes postsocialist and Islamic nations the potential targets of U.S. disciplining violence. 


    globalization.pngMatthew Sparke, Introducing Globalization: Ties, Tensions, and Uneven Integration (2013)
    Introducting Globalization (2013) is designed specifically for introductory globalization courses, Introducing Globalization helps students to develop informed opinions about globalization, inviting them to become participants rather than just passive learners. It identifies and explores the major economic, political and social ties that comprise contemporary global interdependency. It also examines a broad sweep of topics, from the rise of transnational corporations and global commodity chains, to global health challenges and policies, to issues of worker solidarity and global labor markets, through to emerging forms of global mobility by both business elites and their critics

    · The book is supported by additional web resources – available upon publication at www.wiley.com/go/sparke – including hot links to news reports, examples of globalization and other illustrative sites, and archived examples of student projects.


    sticks.pngJerome Neu, Sticks and Stones: The Philosophy of Insults (2009)

    To insult is to assert or assume dominance, either intentionally claiming superiority or unintentionally revealing lack of regard. To be insulted is to suffer a shock, a disruption of one’s sense of self and one’s place in the world. To accept an insult is to submit, in certain worlds to be dishonored. How is one to retrieve self-respect? To find guidance on how to live in the world with the many others who impinge on our boundaries, to think about how much we should put up with those who would put us down, it is necessary to explore the nature and place of insult in our lives. What kind of injury is an insult? Is it determined by the insulter or the insulted? What does it reveal about the character of both parties as well as the character of society and its conventions? What is its role in social and legal life (from play to jokes to ritual to war and from blasphemy to defamation to hate speech)? How ready should we be to forgive? In Sticks and Stones: The Philosophy of Insults, Jerome Neu utilizes the resources of philosophy, anthropology, psychoanalysis, and law to answer the questions.