Where to find the readings:
= Blackboard course materials;
= click on link;
= Stokes Library 3 hour reserve; also available for purchase at Labyrinth.
Week One. February 5 and 7. Introduction: the variety of institutions .
The first week of the course will lay out three cases aimed at illustrating the range of institutions the course will consider: (1) publicly ordered institutions (citizenship), (2) private ordering within a legal framework (contract), and (3) institutions whose rules and practices are not generally established through law, though they may have the state's patronage or acceptance (science).
Rogers Brubaker, Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992), 21-34 (Ch. 1 "Citizenship as Social Closure").
Margaret Jane Radin, Boilerplate: The Fine Print, Vanishing Rights, and the Rule of Law (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013), xiii-xvii (Prologue) and 1-18 (Ch. 1).
Robert K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Structure (New York: Free Press, 1968), 604-615 ("Science and Democratic Social Structure").
Week Two.February 12 and 14: What are institutions, and why do they matter? Institutional analysis and law.
This week examines different approaches to institutional analysis and institutional change and to law and its relation to other institutions.
February 12: Contrasting disciplinary and theoretical perspectives on institutions
Douglass North, Institutions, Institutional Change, and Economic Performance (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990), Chs. 1, 9.
Paul J. DiMaggio and Walter Powell, "The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields." American Sociological Review 48 (1983), 147-160.
Giovanni Capoccia and Daniel Keleman, "The Study of Critical Junctures: Theory, Narrative, and Counterfactuals in Historical Institutionalism," World Politics (2007) 59: 341-54 [first 14 pages only].
February 14: Law: rules and practices
H.L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law, 3d ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), Ch. 5 ("Law as the Union of Primary and Secondary Rules"), 79-99.
Carol A. Heimer, "Competing Institutions: Law, Medicine, and Family in Neonatal IntensiveCare," in Erik Larson amd Patrick Schmidt, eds., The Law and Society Reader II (New York: NYU Press, 2014), 265-275.
Week Three. February 19 and 21. Political institutions: state-building, the nation-state, constitutionalism, legal systems.
In this week, we will examine the rise and consolidation of the modern nation-state as both a social and a legal project.
Charles Tilly,"States and Nationalism in Europe 1492-1992," Theory and Society (1994), 23: 131-146.
Paul Starr, "The Creative Reluctance of Liberal Statecraft," in Freedom's Power (New York: Basic Books, 2007), 29-52.
John Henry Merryman and Rogelio Perez-Perdomo, The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Europe and Latin America, 3rd ed. (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007), 1-5, 20-33.
Week Four. February 26 and February 28. Democracy, law, and rights
We now take up questions about the institutional framework of democracy: What are the primary types of institutional design and what are their consequences? What role does law play in regulating democracy? And what is the relation of government to individual rights?
February 26: The design of democracy
G. Bingham Powell, Jr.,"Constitutional Designs as Visions of Majoritarian or Proportional Democracy," in Elections as Instruments of Democracy (Yale University Press, 2000), Ch. 2.
Samuel Issacharoff, Pamela S. Karlan, and Richard H. Pildes, "An Introduction to the Design of Democratic Institutions," in The Law of Democracy: Legal Structure of the Political Process, 4th ed. (New York: Foundation Press, 2012), 1-13.
February 28: Rights
Stephen Holmes and Cass R. Sunstein, "All Rights are Positive" and "The Necessity of Government Performance" in The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes (New York: W.W. Norton, 1999), 35-58.
Emily Zackin,Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places: Why State Constitutions Contain America's Positive Rights (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013), Chs. 1, 3.
Weeks Five and Six. March 5 and 7. Legal institutions
We turn to the institutions that shape the legal process, focusing on courts, judges, and judicial review.
March 5. Courts, lawyers, and juries (Paul Frymer)
Marc Galanter, "Why the Haves Come Out Ahead: Speculations on the Limits of Legal Change" Law and Society Review 9 (1974), 95-160.
Sarah Staszak, No Day in Court (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), Ch 3, ("Changing the Decision Makers: From Litigation to Arbitration").
Jeffrey Abramson, We, the Jury: The Jury System and the Ideal of Democracy (New York: Basic Books, 1994), Ch. 1.
March 7: Constitutional change and judicial review
Bruce Ackerman,We the People (1): Foundations (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991), required:, 40-50 (beginning with "The Shape of the Constitutional Past" in Chapter 2). Optional background: 3-22, 34-39.
Christopher L. Eisgruber, Constitutional Self-Government (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), 10-45 (Ch.1).
Martin Shapiro, "The Success of Judicial Review and Democracy," in Shapiro and Alec Stone Sweet, On Law, Politics, and Judicialization (New York : Oxford University Press, 2002).
March 12: The expansion of rights (Paul Frymer)
Ronald Dworkin, "Taking Rights Seriously," in Dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously (1977), 184-205.
Robert Cover, "The Origins of Judicial Activism in the Protection of Minorities." Yale Law Journal 91 (1982), 1287-1316.
Paul Frymer, Black and Blue: African Americans, the Labor Movement, and the Decline of the Democratic Party (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008), Chs. 2-3.
March 14. Midterm exam.
Week Seven. March 26 and 28. Institutions and economic growth
This week, drawing on comparative and historical evidence, we consider how institutions, especially those created through politics and law, may affect economic growth, and how economic growth may affect institutions. An additional focus is the effect of differences in family structure and female agency..
Max Weber, General Economic History (Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 1950), 275-278 ("The Meaning and Presuppositions of Modern Capitalism").
Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, Why Nations Fail: the Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty (New York: Crown Business, 2012), Chs. 2-4, 7-10, 14-15.
Stuart Banner, American Property: A History of How, Why, and What We Own (Harvard University Press, 2011), 1-22, 94-108 (Introduction, Chs. 1 and 4).
Sarah Carmichael, Alexandra M. de Pleijt and Jan Luiten van Zanden, "Gender Relations and Economic Development: Hypotheses about the Reversal of Fortune in EurAsia," Centre for Global Economic History, University of Utrecht (August 2016).
Week Eight. April 2 and 4: Institutions and innovation
Continuing our discussion of institutions and economic growth, we turn to the problems of intellectual property and innovation and specifically to biomedical innovation today.
April 2. Intellectual property
B. Zorina Khan, The Democratization of Invention: Patents and Copyrights in American Economic Development (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), Introduction.
Lawrence Lessig, Free Culture (Penguin, 2004), preface, Chs. 1-5.
Michael Heller, The Gridlock Economy (Basic Books, 2008), Ch. 1 ("The Tragedy of the Anti-Commons").
April 4. Scientific and technological innovation: the case of transformative drugs
Special guest: Dr. Harold Varmus, former director, National Institutes of Health; former president, Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Week Nine. April 9 and 11. Institutional change and inequality today
How should we understand the institutional shift toward market-oriented policies and changes in employment associated with increasing inequality and insecurity?
April 9. The turn toward market-oriented policies in the advanced societies
Lucy Barnes and Peter A. Hall, "Neoliberalism and Social Resilience in the Developed Democracies," in Peter Hall and Michele Lamont, eds., Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 209-38.
Week Ten. April 16 and 18. The struggle over health care
We focus on the century-long battle over health insurance and health care in the United States and current dilemmas about health-care law and policy.
Paul Starr, Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle over Health Care Reform, rev. edition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), Introduction, Chs. 1, 3-7.
Week Eleven. April 23 and 25. Civil society, religion, and politics
This week we consider how institutional change in civil society has affected political advocacy, and the relation between religion and the law.
April 23. Changing structures of civic engagement
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management in American Civic Life (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003), Chs. 1-2.
David Karpf, The Moveon Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy(Oxford University Press, 2012), Chs. 1-2.
April 25. Church and state
Stephen V. Monsma and J. Christopher Soper, The Challenge of Pluralism: Church and State in Five Democracies, 2d ed. (Rowman and Littlefield, 2009), 1-28.
Michael Corkery and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, "Beware the Fine Print, Part III: In Religious Arbitration, Scripture is the Rule of Law," New York Times Nov. 2, 2015.
Week Twelve. April 30 and May 2. Democracy at risk
The rise of populist nationalism is shaking the foundations of democracy in Europe and the United States. We turn now to the current crisis of liberal democracy and examine the old question of American exceptionalism in light of contemporary developments.
Aril 30. Democratic backsliding and breakdown
Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, How Democracies Die (New York: Crown, January 2018).
May 2. The virtues and limits of American institutional exceptionalism (final lecture)
Last modified: April 10, 2018.