Contacts | Program of Study | Program Requirements | Honors | Reading and Research Courses | Grading | Advising | Course Distribution Lists | Courses

Please note that the Law, Letters, and Society major will be under review by a faculty committee during the 2016–17 academic year. While the program structure and curriculum are reevaluated, Law, Letters, and Society will not be accepting applications to the major. For current program members, those in the Classes of 2016, 2017, and 2018, the major requirements will remain the same. Information about the future of the program will be announced upon completion of the review, and no new students will be accepted in the meantime. For discussion of complementary programs of study, please see your College adviser.

Program of Study

The program in Law, Letters, and Society is concerned with law in civilian and customary legal systems, both historically and contemporaneously. The program is designed to develop the student's analytical skills to enable informed and critical examination of law broadly construed. The organizing premise of the program is that law is a tool of social organization and control, not simply an expression of will or aspiration, and that it is best understood by careful study of both rhetorical artifacts and empirical consequences of its application. Program requirements are constructed to support the organizing premise, and, because of the nature of the requirements, transfer students are not eligible to register as Law, Letters, and Society majors.

The program requires course work in three areas, although there is a reasonably broad latitude both expected and permitted in satisfaction of the distributional requirement. There is a substantial writing requirement for all majors; majors are expected to produce substantial written work (sometimes called "the BA Paper") under the close supervision of a faculty member whose area of scholarly concern is related to the broad objectives of the program.

Program Requirements

Course work is required in three areas. After successfully completing the Introductory Course, students must take two courses in Letters and two courses in Society. In addition, students must complete six other courses that, while not necessarily offered or listed formally under either rubric, are substantively supportive of the topics, areas, skills, or concerns of the two areas. Courses satisfying the additional requirement are identified on a quarterly basis, and final approval of additional required course work is made by consultation between the student and the program chairman.

The Introductory Course

The Introductory Course must precede all other course work in the major, because it establishes the intellectual moorings of the program. The importance of the Introductory Course lies not in its content (indeed, its precise focus and scope may be different from time to time) but on its approach to the nature of law. Recently, for example, the Introductory Course has been LLSO 24200 Legal Reasoning, a study, based primarily on cases, of the classic conventions of legal argument in the Anglo-American legal system. In other years, the Introductory Course might be Roman Law or Greek Law, Medieval Law, or a text-based course on ancient legal philosophy, or a comparison of modern legal categories and policies with those of former societies and cultures. The objective is not so much to establish a historical foundation for modern studies as to demonstrate that legal systems are culturally rooted; that urgent, present concerns may obscure important characteristics of legal ideas and behavior; and that many recurrent themes in Western legal thought are shaped or driven by both common and uncommon features. Unlike many legal studies programs that attempt to orient study of the law primarily in contemporary debates, usually in the field of American constitutional law, the program seeks to organize its exploration of law as a system rather than as a forum or an instrument.

Other Course Work

After completing the Introductory Course, students must take two courses each in the Letters and Society divisions of the program, plus six other courses complementary to the required work, as outlined previously (the other six courses may be ones cross listed in the program or may be from other disciplines). Letters and Society are not meant as fixed or self-defining fields, but instead as organizational categories emphasizing two fundamental modes of examining law in a systemic fashion. Courses under the rubric of Letters (whether based in the program or in English, philosophy, or political theory) tend to be based on the study of literary and historical artifacts, such as cases, tracts, conventional literature, or other texts, and emphasize the ways in which law formally constitutes itself. Questions of interpretative and normative theory, rhetorical strategy, and the like are central to such courses. Society serves to organize studies from a variety of different disciplines (including history, political science, economics, and sociology) that try to measure, with different techniques and at different times, the effect of law on society. The combined objective is to treat law as an intellectual activity and as a phenomenon, and to emphasize that both occur in contexts that help to shape them, whether ancient or modern.


In addition to satisfying the course requirements, each student in the program must produce evidence of sustained research in the form of a substantial research paper during either the junior or senior year and obtain approval of a member of the faculty, although not necessarily a member of the program faculty. Papers may be written in conjunction with Law, Letters, and Society courses, under the auspices of reading and research courses, or in a Research Seminar. (The paper is an independent requirement, however, and need not be accomplished in conjunction with enrollment in a specific course.) The scope, method, and objective of the paper, as well as its length, are subject to negotiation between the student and the instructor.

Summary of Requirements

LLSO 24200Legal Reasoning (Introductory Course)100
Two Letters courses (List II)200
Two Society courses (List III)200
Six Complementary courses *600
Total Units1100

Complementary courses are courses from other departments that support work done in the major. Some students prefer to concentrate their work on a specific issue or problem, e.g., urban politics and policy, historic societal discrimination, or the role of international institutions in policy implementation. Other students prefer to examine a series of discrete topics that are not directly related but that concern the operation of regimes of social control. Lists of Pre-Approved Complementary Courses are published quarterly, and students who believe that a course not so listed nonetheless supports work in the major may petition the program chair for approval at any time while enrolled in the course or within one quarter of completing the course. Courses taken in Autumn Quarter of the second year simultaneously with the Introductory Course may not count as Complementary Courses.


Students who wish to be considered for honors must notify the program chairman and their faculty supervisor in writing no later than two quarters before the quarter in which they expect to receive their degree. Eligible students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.50 both overall and in the major, and they must write a distinguished research paper. The paper must be submitted by noon on Friday of fifth week in the quarter of proposed graduation (other papers must be submitted by noon on Friday of seventh week), and the student's faculty supervisor and a second reader must agree that honors are merited. It should be noted that honors are awarded sparingly.

Reading and Research Courses

For students with a legitimate interest in pursuing study that cannot be met by means of regular courses, there is an option of devising a reading and research course to be supervised by a member of the faculty and taken for a quality grade. Such courses may not be used to satisfy the requirements of either the two-course Letters or two-course Society requirements, but may be used to satisfy part of the other six required courses, with the written permission of the program chairman obtained in advance of initiation of the work. Only two research courses may be used within the major. LLSO 29400 Research Seminar may also be used as one of the six Complementary Courses.


Two of the six complementary courses required in the program may, with consent of instructor, be taken for P/F grading. Students who enroll in LLSO 29400 Research Seminar, offered annually, are graded on a P/F basis, and the seminar counts as one of the two P/F-graded complementary courses.


Students who wish to major in Law, Letters, and Society must register for LLSO 24200 Legal Reasoning in Autumn Quarter of their second year. This requirement is not negotiable. Students should note that, as an interdisciplinary major, the program has a strictly limited enrollment and that registration for the Introductory Course is determined during the preceding Spring Quarter. Upon deciding to major in Law, Letters, and Society, students should arrange to consult with the program chairman on their course of study in the program. Students should continue to consult with their College advisers on general education degree requirements.

Course Distribution Lists

I. The Introductory Course

Legal Reasoning (Not offered Autumn 2016)

II. Letters

Machiavelli and Machiavellism
Topics in Judicial Studies
Florentine Political Thought
Free Speech and the First Amendment
Introduction to Political Philosophy
Introduction to Constitutional Law
American Law and the Rhetoric of Race
Lincoln: Slavery, War, and the Constitution
Not Just the Facts: Telling About the American South
Authority, Obligation, and Dissent
Liberalism and Empire
The Declaration of Independence
Machiavelli's Political Thought

III. Society

Global-Local Politics
Health and Human Rights
Introduction to Black Chicago, 1893 to 2010
Electoral Politics in America
Environmental Law
Emergence of Capitalism in Early Modern Europe
Civil Rights/Civil Liberties
Legitimacy and Political Institutions
U.S. Environmental Policy
Human Rights: Philosophical Foundations
Law and Society in Early America, 1600–1800
Human Rights and Human Diversity
Economics and Environmental Policy
Economics of Urban Policies
Political Parties in the United States
Insurgency, Terrorism, and Civil War
Human Rights: History and Theory
Human Rights: Contemporary Issues and Concepts
US Women and Gender
Democracy and the Politics of Wealth Redistribution
Civil Rights Movement
Youth Law and Policy: Child Welfare and Juv. Just. in the U.S.

IV. Research and Reading

Research Seminar

Law, Letters, and Society Courses

LLSO 20116. Global-Local Politics. 100 Units.

Globalizing and local forces are generating a new politics in the United States and around the world. This course explores this new politics by mapping its emerging elements: the rise of social issues, ethno-religious and regional attachments, environmentalism, gender and life-style identity issues, new social movements, transformed political parties and organized groups, and new efforts to mobilize individual citizens.

Instructor(s): T. Clark     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 20116,HMRT 30116,PBPL 27900,SOCI 30116,SOCI 20116

LLSO 21400. Health and Human Rights. 100 Units.

This course attempts to define health and health care in the context of human rights theory and practice. Does a “right to health” include a “right to health care"? We delineate health care financing in the United States and compare these systems with those of other nations. We explore specific issues of health and medical practice as they interface in areas of global conflict: torture, landmines, and poverty. Readings and discussions explore social determinants of health: housing, educational institutions, employment, and the fraying of social safety nets. We study vulnerable populations: foster children, refugees, and the mentally ill. Lastly, does a right to health include a right to pharmaceuticals? What does the big business of drug research and marketing mean for our own country and the world?

Instructor(s): R. Sherer, E. Lyon     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): MEDC 60405,CHDV 21400,HMRT 21400

LLSO 21603. Machiavelli and Machiavellism. 100 Units.

This course is a comprehensive introduction to Machiavelli’s The Prince in light of his vast and varied literary corpus and European reception. The course includes discussion of Machiavelli as playwright (The Mandrake), fiction writer (Belfagor, The Golden Ass), and historian (Discourses, Florentine Histories). We will also closely investigate the emergence of myths surrounding Machiavelli (Machiavellism and anti-Machiavellism) in Italy (Guicciardini, Botero, Boccalini), France (Bodin and Gentillet), Spain (Ribadeneyra), and Northern Europe (Hobbes, Grotius, Spinoza) during the Counter Reformation and beyond.

Instructor(s): R. Rubini     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Course conducted in English. Those seeking Italian credit will do all work in Italian.
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 25801,FNDL 21603,ITAL 23000

LLSO 22209. Introduction to Black Chicago, 1893 to 2010. 100 Units.

This course surveys the history of African Americans in Chicago, from before the twentieth century to the near present. In referring to that history, we treat a variety of themes, including migration and its impact, the origins and effects of class stratification, the relation of culture and cultural endeavor to collective consciousness, the rise of institutionalized religions, facts and fictions of political empowerment, and the correspondence of Black lives and living to indices of city wellness (services, schools, safety, general civic feeling). This is a history class that situates itself within a robust interdisciplinary conversation. Students can expect to engage works of autobiography and poetry, sociology, documentary photography, and political science as well as more straightforward historical analysis. By the end of the class, students should have grounding in Black Chicago's history and an appreciation of how this history outlines and anticipates Black life and racial politics in the modern United States.

Instructor(s): A. Green     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): AMER 27705,AMER 37705,CRES 37705,HIST 37705,CRES 27705,HIST 27705

LLSO 22401. Topics in Judicial Studies. 100 Units.

This seminar examines three topics in current judicial studies:  the appointment process, judicial reputation, and ideological “drift.” Two short papers are required. Seminar.

Instructor(s): Dennis Hutchinson     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Consent only

LLSO 22402. Florentine Political Thought. 100 Units.

This course is devoted to the political writings of the giants of medieval and Renaissance Italian and specifically Florentine political thought: Petrarch, Salutati, Bruni, Bracciolini, Savonarola, Guicciardini, and, of course, Machiavelli.

Instructor(s): J. McCormick     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor required.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 52402,PLSC 22402

LLSO 22403. Free Speech and the First Amendment. 100 Units.

This course will examine the Supreme Court's First Amendment jurisprudence, focusing on such issues as speech critical of the government, the hostile audience, classified information, libel, commercial advertising, obscenity, symbolic expression, campaign finance regulation and the freedom of the press

Instructor(s): Geoffrey Stone     Terms Offered: Winter

LLSO 22612. Introduction to Political Philosophy. 100 Units.

In this course we will investigate what it is for a society to be just. In what sense are the members of a just society equal? What freedoms does a just society protect? Must a just society be a democracy? What economic arrangements are compatible with justice? In the second portion of the course we will consider one pressing injustice in our society in light of our previous philosophical conclusions. Possible candidates include, but are not limited to, racial inequality, economic inequality, and gender hierarchy. Here our goal will be to combine our philosophical theories with empirical evidence in order to identify, diagnose, and effectively respond to actual injustice. (A)

Instructor(s): B. Laurence     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Students should register via discussion section.
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 21601,PLSC 22600,PHIL 21600

LLSO 22710. Electoral Politics in America. 100 Units.

This course explores the interactions of voters, candidates, the parties, and the media in American national elections, chiefly in the campaign for the presidency, both in nominating primaries and in the November general election. The course will examine how voters learn about candidates, how they perceive candidates, how they come to turn out to vote, and how they decide among the candidates. It will examine the strategies and techniques of electoral campaigns, including the choices of campaign themes and the impact of campaign advertising. It will consider the role of campaign contributors and volunteers, the party campaign organizations, campaign and media polls, and the press. Finally, it will assess the impact of campaigns and elections on governing and policymaking.

Instructor(s): M. Hansen     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 22710

LLSO 23100. Environmental Law. 100 Units.

This lecture/discussion course examines the development of laws and legal institutions that address environmental problems and advance environmental policies. Topics include the common law background to traditional environmental regulation, the explosive growth and impact of federal environmental laws in the second half of the twentieth century, regulations and the urban environment, and the evolution of local and national legal structures in response to environmental challenges.

Instructor(s): R. Lodato     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing, or consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 23100,PBPL 23100

LLSO 23415. Emergence of Capitalism in Early Modern Europe. 100 Units.

This course investigates the emergence of capitalism in Europe and the world as a whole between the early sixteenth and the late eighteenth centuries. We discuss the political and cultural as well as the economic, sources of capitalism, and explore Marxist, neoclassical, and cultural approaches.

Instructor(s): W. Sewell     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 23300,HIST 33300,PLSC 32815,PLSC 23415

LLSO 23900. Introduction to Constitutional Law. 100 Units.

This course is an introduction to the constitutional doctrines and political role of the U.S. Supreme Court, focusing on its evolving constitutional priorities and its response to basic governmental and political problems, including maintenance of the federal system, promotion of economic welfare, and protection of individual and minority rights.

Instructor(s): G. Rosenberg     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 48800,PLSC 28800

LLSO 24000. Civil Rights/Civil Liberties. 100 Units.

This course examines selected civil rights and civil liberties decisions of U.S. courts with particular emphasis on the broader political context. Areas covered include speech, race, and gender.

Instructor(s): G. Rosenberg     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PLSC 28800 or equivalent and consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 29200

LLSO 24200. Legal Reasoning. 100 Units.

This course introduces legal reasoning in a customary legal system. The first part examines the analytical conventions that lawyers and judges purport to use. The second part examines fundamental tenets of constitutional interpretation. Both judicial decisions and commentary are used, although the case method is emphasized.

Instructor(s): D. Hutchinson     Terms Offered: Autumn. Not offered Autumn 2016.
Prerequisite(s): Open only to second-year students who are beginning the LLSO major.

LLSO 24300. American Law and the Rhetoric of Race. 100 Units.

This course examines the ways American law has treated legal issues involving race. Two episodes are studied in detail: the criminal law of slavery during the antebellum period and the constitutional attack on state‐imposed segregation in the twentieth century. The case method is used, although close attention is paid to litigation strategy and judicial opinion.

Instructor(s): D. Hutchinson     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LAWS 59800,LAWS 49801

LLSO 24711. Lincoln: Slavery, War, and the Constitution. 100 Units.

This course is a study of Abraham Lincoln’s view of the Constitution, based on close readings of his writings, plus comparisons to judicial responses to Lincoln’s policies.

Instructor(s): D. Hutchinson     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 24711,HIST 27102

LLSO 24805. Legitimacy and Political Institutions. 100 Units.

Legitimacy is key to successful governance. This course will consider what makes people perceive government decisions (and, ultimately, the government itself) as legitimate, or as being "appropriate, proper, and just." We will focus on four characteristics of political institutions—access, accountability, efficiency, and fairness—and how they affect individuals' feelings toward government officials and their decisions. We will compare the challenges faced by democratic and authoritarian governments as well as those faced by new versus established governments. Specific topics that will be discussed include the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), the politics of austerity and bailouts in the European Union, and local law enforcement and public education in the United States.

Instructor(s): J. Patty     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 24805

LLSO 24901. U.S. Environmental Policy. 100 Units.

Environmental policy is the product of political, historical, economic, and cultural factors that lead to certain outcomes (and not others). This course will examine each of these factors and their importance in shaping the environmental policies that exist in the United States, with consideration of both public lands and pollution control policies, as well as the theoretical underpinnings of environmental activism and policymaking.

Instructor(s): R. Lodato     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 24701,PBPL 24701

LLSO 25411. Not Just the Facts: Telling About the American South. 100 Units.

The great jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. once observed: "The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live." This course concerns itself with the various ways people have striven to understand the American South, past and present. We will read fiction, autobiography, and history (including meditations on how to write history). Main themes of the course include the difference between historical scholarship and writing history in fictional form; the role of the author in each and consideration of the interstitial space of autobiography; the question of authorial authenticity; and the tension between contemporary demands for truthfulness and the rejection of "truth."

Instructor(s): J. Dailey     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level undergraduates
Equivalent Course(s): AMER 27006,HIST 27006

LLSO 25610. Authority, Obligation, and Dissent. 100 Units.

What is the basis of political authority? What, if anything, makes it legitimate? Under what conditions are we obliged to follow the laws and orders of government authorities? Under what conditions can we legitimately disobey such laws or orders, or even engage in violent rebellion? How have some of the most influential political thinkers answered such questions historically and which of their theories are most helpful for illuminating these issues for us today? Readings include classic writings by Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Burke, Paine, Kant, Thoreau, Gandhi, Fanon, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Instructor(s): S. Muthu     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 25610

LLSO 25903. Liberalism and Empire. 100 Units.

The evolution of liberal thought coincided and intersected with the rise of European empires, and those empires have been shaped by liberal preoccupations, including ideas of tutelage in self-government, exporting the rule of law, and the normativity of European modernity. Some of the questions this course will address include: how was liberalism, an apparently universalistic and egalitarian theory, used to legitimate conquest and imperial domination? Is liberalism inherently imperialist? Are certain liberal ideas and doctrines (progress, development, liberty) particularly compatible with empire? What does, or what might, a critique of liberal imperialism look like? Readings will include historical works by authors such as Locke, Mill, Tocqueville, and Hobson, as well as contemporary works of political theory and the history of political thought (by authors such as James Tully, Michael Ignatieff, David Kennedy, and Uday Mehta).

Instructor(s): J. Pitts     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 23010,PLSC 33010,PLSC 23010

LLSO 26000. Law and Society in Early America, 1600–1800. 100 Units.

This colloquium considers law, legal institutions, and legal culture within the lived experience of colonial and revolutionary America. It will emphasize the interaction of social development and legal development and will explore the breadth of everyday experience with legal institutions like the jury, with courts as institutions for resolving disputes, and with the prosecution of crime.

Instructor(s): E. Cook     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level undergraduates and early state graduate students.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 37001,HIST 27001

LLSO 26201. Economics and Environmental Policy. 100 Units.

This course combines basic microeconomic theory and tools with contemporary environmental and resources issues and controversies to examine and analyze public policy decisions. Theoretical points include externalities, public goods, common-property resources, valuing resources, benefit/cost analysis, and risk assessment. Topics include pollution, global climate change, energy use and conservation, recycling and waste management, endangered species and biodiversity, nonrenewable resources, congestion, economic growth and the environment, and equity impacts of public policies.

Instructor(s): S. Shaikh     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): ECON 19800 or higher, or PBPL 20000
Equivalent Course(s): PBPL 21800,ENST 21800

LLSO 26202. Economics of Urban Policies. 100 Units.

This course covers tools needed to analyze urban economics and address urban policy problems. Topics include a basic model of residential location and rents; income, amenities, and neighborhoods; homelessness and urban poverty; decisions on housing purchase versus rental (e.g., housing taxation, housing finance, landlord monitoring); models of commuting mode choice and congestion and transportation pricing and policy; urban growth; and Third World cities.

Instructor(s): G. Tolley, K. Ierulli     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): ECON 20100 and STAT 23400
Equivalent Course(s): GEOG 26600,GEOG 36600,PBPL 24500,ECON 26600

LLSO 26703. Political Parties in the United States. 100 Units.

Political parties are a central feature of American government. In this course we will explore their role in contemporary politics and learn about their development over the course of American history. We will start by asking the following questions: What is a political party? Why do we have a two-party system, and how did that system develop? We will then proceed to study shifts in party coalitions, parties’ evolving structures, their role in policymaking, and trends in popular attitudes about parties. Although our primary empirical focus will be on parties in the United States, we will spend some time on comparative approaches to political parties.

Instructor(s): R. Bloch Rubin     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 26703

LLSO 26804. Insurgency, Terrorism, and Civil War. 100 Units.

This course provides an introduction to asymmetric and irregular warfare. From Colombia to Afghanistan, non-state armed organizations are crucially important actors. We will study how they organize themselves, extract resources, deploy violence, attract recruits, and both fight and negotiate with states. We will also examine government counterinsurgency and counterterrorism policies, peace-building after conflict, and international involvement in internal wars. Case materials will be drawn from a variety of conflicts and cover a number of distinct topics. This course has a heavy reading load, and both attendance and substantial participation in weekly discussion sections are required.

Instructor(s): P. Staniland     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 26800

LLSO 27306. US Women and Gender. 100 Units.

This course studies the history of women, gender relations, and ideas of sex difference from the emergence of the women's rights movement in the 1840s to the rise of women's liberation in the 1960s. Issues of work, rights, citizenship, race, and sexuality take center stage as we explore the social, political, and cultural forces that shaped women's lives and the aspirations and agency of women who sought to transform the rules and relations of gender in the United States. Readings include primary sources as well as classic and recent historical scholarship.

Instructor(s): A. Stanley     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 27306,CRES 23700,GNSE 27306,HIST 27306

LLSO 27950. The Declaration of Independence. 100 Units.

This course explores important intellectual, political, philosophical, legal, economic, social, and religious contexts for the Declaration of Independence. We begin with a consideration of the English Revolution, investigating the texts of the Declaration of Rights of 1689 and Locke’s Second Treatise and their meanings to American revolutionaries. We then consider imperial debates over taxation in the 1760s and 1770s, returning Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography to its original context. Reading Paine’s Common Sense and the letters of Abigail Adams and John Adams we look at the multiple meanings of independence. We study Jefferson’s drafting process, read the Declaration over the shoulders of people on both sides of the Atlantic, and consider clues to contemporary meanings beyond the intentions of Congress. Finally, we briefly engage the post-revolutionary history of the place and meaning of the Declaration in American life. (F)

Instructor(s): E. Slauter     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 27950,HIST 17604,HMRT 17950,ENGL 17950

LLSO 28710. Democracy and the Politics of Wealth Redistribution. 100 Units.

How do political institutions affect the redistribution of wealth among members of a society? In most democracies, the distribution of wealth among citizens is unequal but the right to vote is universal. Why then have so many newly democratic states transitioned under conditions of high inequality yet failed to redistribute? This course explores this puzzle by analyzing the mechanisms through which individual and group preferences can be translated into pro-poor policies, and the role elites play in influencing a government's capacity or incentives to redistribute wealth. Topics include economic inequality and the demand for redistribution, the difference in redistribution between democracy and dictatorship, the role of globalization in policymaking, and the effects of redistribution on political stability and change.

Instructor(s): M. Albertus     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 28710

LLSO 28712. Civil Rights Movement. 100 Units.

This course is designed to explore selected topics in the history and historiography of the Civil Right Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, with a special focus on the lived experience of movement activists. Our principal objectives will be identifying the roots and causes of the movement, putting it in context of, as well as distinguishing it from, earlier political mobilizations, and tracing the countervailing social, political, and international forces that shaped its evolution from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s.

Instructor(s): T. Holt     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 37406,CRES 27406,CRES 37406,HIST 27406

LLSO 29050. Youth Law and Policy: Child Welfare and Juv. Just. in the U.S. 100 Units.

This course explores how legal institutions protect and punish children in the United States. We will spend the first part of the course exploring the child welfare system, which purports to protect children from abuse and neglect through various mechanisms including foster care and the termination of parental rights.  We will spend the second part of the course exploring the juvenile justice system, which purports to prosecute and rehabilitate children for their criminal acts in a system separate from the criminal justice system. In the final part of the course, we will consider special topics in this area of law and policy including “cross-over youth” (i.e. children involved in both systems), unaccompanied immigrant children, homeless and runaway youth, and the so-called “school-to-prison-pipeline.” This course will place special emphasis on the judges, lawyers, law enforcement officers, and social workers that comprise these legal institutions.

Instructor(s): Andrew Hammond     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 29050,PBPL 29050

LLSO 29400. Research Seminar. 100 Units.

A seminar for students preparing BA papers in LLSO.

Instructor(s): D. Hutchinson     Terms Offered: Autumn


Undergraduate Primary Contact

Program Chairman
Dennis J. Hutchinson


Administrative Contact

Administrative Assistant
Susan Rueth
HM 235