Contacts | Application to the Program | Program of Study | Program Requirements | Honors | Reading and Research Courses | Grading | Advising | Course Distribution Lists | Law, Letters, and Society Courses

The Law, Letters, and Society major will resume in 2018–19. Students who matriculated in Autumn Quarter 2017 may apply in Spring Quarter of their first year to begin the program in Autumn 2018. See below for application details.

Application to the Program

Students must apply in Spring Quarter of their first year to enter the program in their second year. Autumn Quarter 2017 matriculants only are eligible to apply to begin the program in 2018–19. Students who entered the College prior to Autumn Quarter 2017 will not be considered.

Application forms may be obtained from the Office of the New Collegiate Division in Harper Memorial (HM) 235. Applications are available in HM 235 on Friday of tenth week of Winter Quarter and must be submitted to HM 235 by noon on Friday of the first week of Spring Quarter. No applications will be be distributed or accepted during spring break. Students are evaluated on the basis of the application statement and previous performance in the College. Because of the nature of the requirements of the program, no more than twenty-five students can be admitted per year.

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 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

Students must also 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


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: LLSO 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 Pass/Fail grading. Students who enroll in LLSO 29400 Research Seminar: LLSO, offered annually, beginning Autumn 2010, 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 and the associate director 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

II. Letters

LLSO 20019Mesopotamian Law100
LLSO 20802Machiavelli's Literary Works100
LLSO 22401Topics in Judicial Studies100
LLSO 22403Free Speech and the First Amendment100
LLSO 22612Introduction to Political Philosophy100
LLSO 23008Montesquieu's "The Spirit of the Laws"100
LLSO 23900Introduction to Constitutional Law100
LLSO 23910Rulership Ancient and Modern: Xenophon's Education of Cyrus and Machiavelli's Prince100
LLSO 23915Plato's Republic100
LLSO 24711Lincoln: Slavery, War & the Constitution100
LLSO 25411Not Just the Facts: Telling About the American South100
LLSO 27950The Declaration of Independence100
LLSO 28233Machiavelli's Political Thought100
LLSO 29133Due Process100

III. Society

LLSO 20019Mesopotamian Law100
LLSO 21001Human Rights: Contemporary Issues100
LLSO 21002Human Rights: Philosophical Foundations100
LLSO 23100Environmental Law100
LLSO 23262International Human Rights100
LLSO 23313Democracy and Equality100
LLSO 24102Environmental Politics100
LLSO 24810Politics of the U.S. Congress100
LLSO 24901U.S. Environmental Policy100
LLSO 25206Digital Culture: Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, and the Web100
LLSO 25215The American Presidency100
LLSO 25902Contemporary African American Politics100
LLSO 25904America in the Twentieth Century100
LLSO 26615Democracy's Life and Death100
LLSO 26703Political Parties in the United States100
LLSO 26802Public Opinion100
LLSO 27100Human Rights II: History and Theory100
LLSO 27101Democracy and the Information Technology Revolution100
LLSO 28710Democracy and the Politics of Wealth Redistribution100
LLSO 29050Youth Law and Policy: Child Welfare and Juv. Just. in the U.S.100
LLSO 29120Poverty Law and Policy Reform100
LLSO 29122Comparative Law and the Welfare State100

IV. Research and Reading

Research Seminar: LLSO

Please refer to the tables above and/or the quarterly Class Search for the most up-to-date list of course offerings.

Law, Letters, and Society Courses

LLSO 20019. Mesopotamian Law. 100 Units.

Ancient Mesopotamia--the home of the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians who wrote in cuneiform script on durable clay tablets--was the locus of many of history's firsts. No development, however, may be as important as the formations of legal systems and legal principles revealed in contracts, trial records, and law collections (codes), among which The Laws of Hammurabi (r. 1792-1750 BC) stands as most important for understanding the subsequent legal practice and thought of Mesopotamia's cultural heirs in the Middle East and Europe until today. This course will explore the rich source materials of the Laws and relevant judicial and administration documents (all in English translations) to investigate topics of legal, social, and economic practice, including family formation and dissolution, crime and punishment (sympathetic or talionic eye for an eye, pecuniary, corporal), and procedure (contracts, trials, ordeals).

Instructor(s): M. Roth     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SIGN 26022, NEHC 20019, NEHC 30019

LLSO 21001. Human Rights: Contemporary Issues. 100 Units.

This interdisciplinary course presents an overview of several major contemporary human rights problems as a means to explore the use of human rights norms and mechanisms. The course addresses the roles of states, inter-governmental bodies, national courts, civil society actors including NGOs, victims, and their families, and other non-state actors. Topics are likely to include universalism, enforceability of human rights norms, the prohibition against torture, U.S. exceptionalism, and the rights of women, racial minorities, and non-citizens.

Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 21001, HMRT 31001, HIST 29304, LACS 31001, LACS 21001, INRE 31801, HIST 39304

LLSO 21002. Human Rights: Philosophical Foundations. 100 Units.

Human rights are claims of justice that hold merely in virtue of our shared humanity. In this course we will explore philosophical theories of this elementary and crucial form of justice. Among topics to be considered are the role that dignity and humanity play in grounding such rights, their relation to political and economic institutions, and the distinction between duties of justice and claims of charity or humanitarian aid. Finally we will consider the application of such theories to concrete, problematic and pressing problems, such as global poverty, torture and genocide. (A) (I)

Instructor(s): B. Laurence     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): MAPH 42002, PHIL 31002, INRE 31602, HIST 39319, HMRT 31002, PHIL 21002, HMRT 21002, HIST 29319

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. Mr. Hutchinson. Autumn. Consent, limit 15.

Instructor(s): Dennis Hutchinson     Terms Offered: Not offered in 2018-19
Prerequisite(s): Consent only
Note(s): Not offered in 2018-19

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: Spring

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
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 21600, GNSE 21601, PLSC 22600

LLSO 23008. Montesquieu's "The Spirit of the Laws" 100 Units.

From its publication in 1748, "The Spirit of the Laws" has been interpreted, among other things, as a foundational work of method in historical jurisprudence; a pæan to the English constitution and an inspiration for that of the future United States; a precocious call for penal reform and the abolition of slavery; a monument to the Enlightenment's capacity for cultural relativism that laid the groundwork for the discipline of sociology; a historical treatise on the rise of globalized commerce and its political effects in Europe; and a manifesto for a reactionary feudal aristocracy. We will read "The Spirit of the Laws" with attention to these and other possible interpretations. This course is mainly an exercise in close reading, but we will also think about the contexts for the writing and reception of this landmark work of Enlightenment social and political thought.

Instructor(s): P. Cheney     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Completion of one of these Core sequences: "Classics of Social and Political Thought," "Power, Identity, Resistance" or "Self, Culture, and Society."
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 23008, FNDL 23008

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 23262. International Human Rights. 100 Units.

This course is an introduction to international human rights law, covering the major instruments and institutions that operate on the international plane. It includes discussion of the conceptual underpinnings of human rights, the structure of the United Nations System, the major international treaties, regional human rights machinery, and the interplay of national and international systems in enforcing human rights. There are no prerequisites. Grading will be on the basis of a take-home exam at the end of the quarter. Students who wish to write, in lieu of the exam, a paper sufficient to satisfy the substantial writing requirement, may do so upon approval of the topic in advance.

Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 37700, PLSC 56101

LLSO 23313. Democracy and Equality. 100 Units.

Democracy has often been celebrated (and often criticized) for expressing some kind of equality among citizens. This course will investigate a series of questions prompted by this supposed relationship between democracy and equality. Is democracy an important part of a just society? What institutions and practices does democracy require? Is equality a meaningful or important political ideal? If so, what kind of equality? Does democracy require some kind of equality, or vice-versa? The course will begin by studying classical arguments for democracy by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Stuart Mill, and then focus on contemporary approaches to these questions. The course will conclude with some treatment of current democratic controversies, potentially including issues of race and representation; the fair design of elections; the role of wealth in political processes; and the role of judicial review. The course aims to deepen participants' understanding of these and related issues, and to develop our abilities to engage in argument about moral and political life. This course is part of the College Course Cluster program, Inequality.

Instructor(s): J. Wilson     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 23313, PLSC 43301

LLSO 23900. Introduction to Constitutional Law. 100 Units.

This course is designed as an introduction to the constitutional doctrines and political role of the U.S. Supreme Court, focusing on its evolving priorities and its responses to basic governmental and political problems. Topics include the development of judicial power, the interaction of states and the federal government, judicial involvement in economic policy, and the Court's treatment of minority rights. The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the political history of the Court as well as some knowledge of doctrinal developments. Students should complete the course with an awareness of the political nature of much of what the Court does and with the ability to read, follow, and intelligently discuss Supreme Court decisions. It is not a law school course. No prior knowledge of the U.S. Supreme Court or its decisions is expected or required. There are no prerequisites.

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

LLSO 23901. The Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist Writings. 100 Units.

This course examines the debate over the ratification of the Constitution through a reading of The Federalist Papers and selected Anti-Federalist writings as works of continuing relevance to current practical and theoretical debates. Issues include war and peace, interests and the problem of faction, commerce, justice and the common good as ends of government, human nature, federalism, republican government, representation, separation of powers, executive power, the need for energy and stability, the need for a bill of rights, and constitutionalism.

Instructor(s): Nathan Tarcov     Terms Offered: Winter. Course will be taught Winter 2019
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergrads
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 33930, PLSC 23901, SCTH 31715, FNDL 21719

LLSO 23915. Plato's Republic. 100 Units.

This course is devoted to reading and discussion of Plato's Republic and some secondary work with attention to justice in the city and the soul, war and warriors, education, theology, poetry, gender, eros, and actually existing cities.

Instructor(s): Nathan Tarcov     Terms Offered: Winter 2013
Prerequisite(s): Undergrad course by consent
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 43820, SCTH 31770, FNDL 29503

LLSO 24102. Environmental Politics. 100 Units.

This course examines the different theoretical underpinnings of environmental activism and elucidates the manner in which they lead to different ends. We explore several contrasting views of environmentalism, including the land ethic, social ecology, and deep ecology. Discussions are based on questions posed about the readings and the implications they suggest. Class participation is required.

Instructor(s): R. Lodato     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PBPL 24102, ENST 24102

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 and statutory interpretation. Both judicial decisions and commentary are used, although the case method is emphasized.

Instructor(s): A. Hammond     Terms Offered: Autumn
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 presents an episodic study of the ways in which 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 as well as to judicial opinions. Undergraduate students registering in the LLSO, PLSC, HIST, AMER cross-listed offerings must go through the undergraduate pre-registration process. Law students do NOT need consent.

Note(s): Not Offered in 2018-2019
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 27116, AMER 49801, PLSC 22300

LLSO 24711. Lincoln: Slavery, War & 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.

Terms Offered: Autumn Spring. Not offered 2018-19.
Note(s): Not offered 2018-19.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 27102, FNDL 24411

LLSO 24810. Politics of the U.S. Congress. 100 Units.

This course examines Congress from the perspective of the 535 senators and representatives who constitute it. It examines congressional elections, legislators' relationships with their constituents, lawmakers' dealings in and with committees, and representatives' give-and-take with congressional leadership, the executive, and pressure groups.

Instructor(s): M. Hansen     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 24810

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

Making environmental policy is a diverse and complex process. Environmental advocacy engages different governmental agencies, congressional committees, and courts, depending on the issue. This course examines how such differentiation has affected policy making over the last several decades.

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

LLSO 25005. Inequality at Work: The Changing Nature of Working Class Jobs and Prospects for Improvement. 100 Units.

This course will consider sources of inequality in the labor market and in workplaces. Empirical evidence and theory on labor markets and job conditions will be reviewed to provide insights into changing opportunity structures for America's new working class. The goal will be to identify ways to not only ready workers for jobs in today's economy, but to also improve the quality of working class jobs themselves. The assignment for the course requires students to do some field work by observing and/or interviewing workers in an occupation requiring less than a four-year college degree.

Equivalent Course(s): SSAD 25005, PBPL 25005

LLSO 25110. Empire and International Justice. 100 Units.

How did European thinkers from 1492 onward understand and evaluate the extraordinary developments by which some European countries came to rule over much of the non-European world? This seminar examines theories of international justice and global relations from the early sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. Philosophers, theologians, and political actors in this period responded to the key issues of global politics in the modern age, including the seizure of non-European lands; the establishment of slavery and the slave trade; the religious and cultural conversion of colonized peoples; the emerging institutions and practices of global commerce; and the impact of these developments upon both European and non-European societies. Indeed, many dilemmas that confront citizens and states today about humanitarian intervention, national sovereignty, conquest and occupation, empire, and human rights in a global context have an intriguing and complex intellectual history. The readings are primary texts by influential thinkers from the period of the initial Spanish conquests of the Americas through the mid-nineteenth century, including Montesquieu, Diderot, Burke, Bentham, Adam Smith, Cugoano, Kant, Herder, Constant, Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx.

Instructor(s): S. Muthu     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 25110

LLSO 25205. Racial Justice and Injustice. 100 Units.

The course will explore moral and political problems of racial justice and injustice. Topics may include antidiscrimination theory, the fair political representation of racial minorities, reparations for racial injustice, racial segregation, the use of racial preferences in various practices of selection, and the evaluation of practices of law enforcement and punishment. We will use reflections on particular problems such as these to inquire about the uses of racial concepts in political theory; the connections between racial justice and ostensibly more general conceptions of justice; and the connections between racial equality and other egalitarian ideals.

Instructor(s): J. Wilson     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 25205, PLSC 35205, CRES 25205

LLSO 25206. Digital Culture: Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, and the Web. 100 Units.

In contrast to print culture and electronic culture, yet embedded in them, contemporary digital culture engages us in human-computer systems empowered as media for mobile communication in the global network society. In our conjoined online and offline environments, we inhabit human-computer hybrids in which (for instance) we learn, imagine, communicate, pay attention, and experience affect. How can we understand and critique our theories, concepts, practices, and technologies of intelligence and information in relation to the capacities of these digital machines with which we co-evolve? For exploring this question, our case studies include comparing artificial and natural intelligences, as well as examining algorithms and their socio-political impacts, in current web functionalities such as search (Google) and social media (Facebook,Twitter).

Instructor(s): Browning, Margot     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HUMA 25206, HIPS 25206

LLSO 25215. The American Presidency. 100 Units.

This course examines the institution of the American presidency. It surveys the foundations of presidential power, both as the Founders conceived it, and as it is practiced in the modern era. This course also traces the historical development of the institutional presidency, the president's relationships with Congress and the courts, the influence presidents wield in domestic and foreign policymaking, and the ways in which presidents make decisions in a system of separated powers.

Instructor(s): W. Howell     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 25215, PBPL 25216, AMER 25215, PLSC 35215

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): Open to upper-level undergraduates.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 27006, AMER 27006

LLSO 25902. Contemporary African American Politics. 100 Units.

This course explores the issues, actions, and arguments that comprise black politics today.Our specific task is to explore the question of how do African Americans currently engage in politics and political struggles in the United States. This analysis is rooted in a discussion of contemporary issues, including the election of the first African American president, Barack Obama, the emergence of the Movement for Black Lives, the exponential incarceration of black people, and the intersection of identities and the role black feminism in shaping the radical freedom tradition in black politics. Throughout the course we attempt to situate the politics of African Americans into the larger design we call American politics. Is there such a thing as black politics? If there is, what does it tell us more generally about American politics?

Instructor(s): C. Cohen     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 22150, PLSC 22150

LLSO 25904. America in the Twentieth Century. 100 Units.

This is a thematic lecture course on the past 115 years of US history. The main focus of the lectures will be politics, broadly defined. The readings consist of novels and nonfiction writing, with a scattering of primary sources.

Instructor(s): J. Dailey     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): History Gateways are introductory courses meant to appeal to 1st- through 3rd-yr students who may not have done previous course work on the topic of the course; topics cover the globe and span the ages.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 17805, AMER 17805

LLSO 26615. Democracy's Life and Death. 100 Units.

How are democracies founded and maintained? What are their advantages and disadvantages with respect to stability, security, liberty, equality, and justice? Why do democracies decline and die? This course addresses these questions by examining democracies, republics, and popular governments in both the ancient and modern worlds. We will read and discuss primary texts from and social scientific analyses of Athenian democracy, the Roman Republic, the United States, and modern representative governments throughout the globe.

Instructor(s): J. McCormick     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 26615

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: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 26703

LLSO 26802. Public Opinion. 100 Units.

What is the relationship between the mass citizenry and government in the U.S.? Does the public meet the conditions for a functioning democratic polity? This course considers the origins of mass opinion about politics and public policy, including the role of core values and beliefs, information, expectations about political actors, the mass media, economic self-interest, and racial attitudes. This course also examines problems of political representation, from the level of political elites communicating with constituents, and from the possibility of aggregate representation.

Instructor(s): J. Brehm     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 22400, PLSC 22400

LLSO 27100. Human Rights II: History and Theory. 100 Units.

This course is concerned with the theory and the historical evolution of the modern human rights regime. It discusses the emergence of a modern "human rights" culture as a product of the formation and expansion of the system of nation-states and the concurrent rise of value-driven social mobilizations. It proceeds to discuss human rights in two prevailing modalities. First, it explores rights as protection of the body and personhood and the modern, Western notion of individualism. Second, it inquires into rights as they affect groups (e.g., ethnicities and, potentially, transnational corporations) or states.

Instructor(s): TBA     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): INRE 31700, HMRT 30200, HIST 39302, HMRT 20200, HIST 29302, CRES 29302

LLSO 27101. Democracy and the Information Technology Revolution. 100 Units.

The revolution in information technologies has serious implications for democratic societies. We concentrate, though not exclusively, on the United States. We look at which populations have the most access to technology-based information sources (the digital divide), and how individual and group identities are being forged online. We ask how is the responsiveness of government being affected, and how representative is the online community. Severe conflict over the tension between national security and individual privacy rights in the U.S., United Kingdom, and Ireland will be explored as well. We analyze both modern works (such as those by Turkle and Gilder) and the work of modern democratic theorists (such as Habermas).

Instructor(s): M. Dawson     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 23100

LLSO 27200. Human Rights III. 100 Units.

This interdisciplinary course presents an overview of several major contemporary human rights problems as a means to explore the use of human rights norms and mechanisms. The course addresses the roles of states, inter-governmental bodies, national courts, civil society actors including NGOs, victims, and their families, and other non-state actors. Topics are likely to include universalism, enforceability of human rights norms, the prohibition against torture, U.S. exceptionalism, and the rights of women, racial minorities, and non-citizens.

Instructor(s): S. Gzesh     Terms Offered: Autumn 2015
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 20300, HIST 29303, HMRT 30300, HIST 39303, INRE 31800

LLSO 27250. Religious Trials. 100 Units.

The rhetoric and practice of "trial" -- as testing and as adjudication -- is central to religious thought and religious practice. This course will examine the idea and the act of "trial" comparatively, via the classics of the religious literatures of Judaism and of Christianity (Genesis 22, Job, the Gospel of Mark, "The Pilgrim's Progress," Kafka), and also cinema (Dreyer's "Joan of Arc," R. & S. Elkabetz's "Gett").

Instructor(s): R. Rosengarten     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 27250

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. (1650-1830, 1830-1940) This is a 2018-19 College Signature Course.

Instructor(s): Eric Slauter     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 17950, HIST 17604, SIGN 26039, FNDL 27950, ENGL 17950

LLSO 28233. Machiavelli's Political Thought. 100 Units.

This course is devoted to the political writings of Niccolò Machiavelli. Readings include The Prince, Discourses on Livy's History of Rome, selections from the Florentine Histories, and Machiavelli's proposal for reforming Florence's republic, "Discourses on Florentine Affairs." Topics include the relationship between the person and the polity; the compatibility of moral and political virtue; the utility of class conflict; the advantages of mixed institutions; the principles of self-government, deliberation, and participation; the meaning of liberty; and the question of military conquest.

Instructor(s): J. McCormick     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 52316, PLSC 27216, FNDL 28102

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.

Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Course limited to 3rd and 4th year students only.
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 29050, PBPL 29050

LLSO 29060. Freedom of Religion and the U.S. Constitution. 100 Units.

This course introduces students to the interpretive issues, legal doctrines, and historical background surrounding the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; as well as to theoretical questions related to the free exercise of religion, disestablishment, and religious toleration. Topics include the historical background of the Religion Clauses; the understanding of the Free Exercise Clause as a prohibition on government discrimination against religious practices and as a defense of the autonomy of religious institutions and communities; the arguments under the Free Exercise Clause for individual and institutional exemptions from laws of general applicability; the extent to which exemptions under the Free Exercise Clause can be said to run afoul of the Establishment Clause's disestablishment principle; the extent of the Establishment Clause's prohibition on government financial support to religious institutions; the Establishment Clause's limits on government expressions of religious sentiments and endorsement of religious messages and doctrines; and the difficulties under the Establishment Clause of constructing a legal definition of the term "religion." Readings will come primarily from U.S. Supreme Court cases that have sought to interpret and construe the Religion Clauses; readings will be supplemented by historical materials that shed light on the meaning of those Clauses.

Instructor(s): David Lyons     Terms Offered: Winter. Winter Quarter
Prerequisite(s): none

LLSO 29070. Church-State Relations from the Roman Empire to the Early Modern Period. 100 Units.

This course provides students with a survey of the history of how relations between the church and the secular authorities-loosely understood as the state-have been imagined, negotiated, and structured in the West from the earliest Christian writings until the threshold of modernity. During this period the features both of secular authority and the Christian Church changed repeatedly, and so, too, did the relations between the two. This course thus aims to make the complexities of these changing features and relations apparent. Topics to be covered include the posture of Christians and Romans toward each other in the first centuries of Christian emergence; the Church's transformation from occasionally persecuted cult to licit religion to the official imperial religion; the dealings between the Church and the Germanic tribes and kingdoms that succeeded the western Empire; the conflicts between the Church and temporal rulers during the High Middle Ages; the relationship between the Inquisition and the secular authorities; the opportunities for both secular rulers and political radicalism opened up by the Protestant Reformation; and the emergence of Erastian forms of Christianity in the early-modern period. Readings will come from both primary and secondary texts, although the emphasis will be on the former.

Instructor(s): David Lyons     Terms Offered: Winter. Winter Quarter
Prerequisite(s): None

LLSO 29120. Poverty Law and Policy Reform. 100 Units.

This seminar seeks to give students a comprehensive understanding of the major anti-poverty programs in the United States with an emphasis on current challenges and reform proposals. We will spend the first half of the course exploring the implementation and evaluation of the programs that make up the traditional safety net for poor Americans: income supports, health insurance, and housing assistance. We will spend the rest of the quarter exploring topics that complicate the traditional social policy regime, including how the safety net is more robust for some groups, such as the elderly and veterans, than others. We will explore how the legal systems of immigration and incarceration hamper anti-poverty policy and how safety net programs address the needs of rural and Native Americans. Finally, we will investigate two recent developments in the field: social entrepreneurship and the critique of procedural rights.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): No first year students; attendance on the first day of class is required.
Note(s): Not Offered in 2018-2019
Equivalent Course(s): PBPL 29120, HMRT 29120

LLSO 29122. Comparative Law and the Welfare State. 100 Units.

How do welfare states, complex public systems of the twentieth century, respond to various challenges of the twenty-first? Drawing on both comparative legal methods and social science, this course explores how contemporary societies manage globalization, population aging and inequality through social welfare law. Specific areas of study may include old age insurance, childcare, healthcare, labor market regulation and immigration law.

Instructor(s): Andrew Hammond
Note(s): Not offered in 2018/19.

LLSO 29133. Due Process. 100 Units.

This course will explore how courts interpret the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. Drawing predominantly on judicial opinions, topics may include protections for recipients of government services, workers, parents, prisoners, and non-citizens.

Instructor(s): Andrew Hammond     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Not open to first year students.

LLSO 29400. Research Seminar: LLSO. 100 Units.

A seminar for students preparing BA papers in LLSO.

Instructor(s): D. Hutchinson     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Not Offered in 2018-2019


Undergraduate Primary Contact

Program Chairman
Jonathan Levy


Undergraduate Secondary Contact

Associate Director
Andrew Hammond
G-B 111


Administrative Contact

Administrative Assistant
Susan Rueth
HM 235