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Karen Alter                                                                                                                                                                                  

Karen Alter's current research investigates how the proliferation of international legal mechanisms is changing international relations.  Her book in progress, The New Terrain of International Law:  International Courts in International Politics provides a new framework for comparing and understanding the influence of the twenty existing international courts, and for thinking about how different domains of international politics are transformed through the creation of international courts.   

 Alter is author of: The European Court’s Political Power (Oxford University Press, 2009), and Establishing the Supremacy of European Law: The Making of an International Rule of Law in Europe (Oxford University Press, 2001). She has also authored numerous articles and book chapters on international legal systems including a recent symposium on Politics of International Regime Complexity (Perspective on Politics, 2009), an article on the extent to which delegating authority to international courts is sovereignty compromising (Law and Contemporary Problems, 2008), and articles assessing the effectiveness of the Andean Tribunal of Justice—the third most active international court in existence.

 Fluent in Italian, French and German, Alter has received fellowships from the DAAD, the Chateaubriand, the German Marshall Fund and the Howard Foundation. She has been a visiting scholar at the Institute d’Etudes Politiques, the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Auswartiges Politik, Harvard University’s Center for European Studies, Harvard Law School, Seikei University, the Sonderforschungsbereich of Universitat Bremen, and the American Bar Foundation. Alter is member of the New York Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the editorial board of European Union Politics.

Bruce Carruthers

Ph.D. University of Chicago 1991. Areas of interest include historical and comparative sociology, economic sociology, sociology of law and sociology of organizations. Carruthers has written three books, City of Capital: Politics and Markets in the English Financial Revolution (Princeton University, 1996), Rescuing Business: The Making of Corporate Bankruptcy Law in England and the United States (Oxford, 1998), and Economy/Society: Markets, Meanings and Social Structure (Pine Forge Press, 2000). His current research projects are on the evolution of credit decision-making as a problem in the sociology of trust, and worldwide changes in bankruptcy law in the era of a globalized world economy. He has had visiting fellowships at the Russell Sage Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.  He is methodologically agnostic, and does not believe that the qualitative/quantitative distinction is worth fighting over.

Anthony S. Chen                                                                                                                                                                

Anthony S. Chen is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Sociology at the University of Michigan. He studies selected topics in the political development of public policy in the United States. He is the author of The Fifth Freedom (Princeton, forthcoming in 2009), a political and legislative history of the postwar struggle against job discrimination. His research has appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, the Journal of American History, and Studies in American Political Development. At the ABF, he will be developing a new project on the transformation of the regulatory state since the Nixon administration. He received his B.A. from Rice University and his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Thomas Ginsburg

Tom Ginsburg focuses on comparative and international law from an interdisciplinary perspective. He holds B.A., J.D., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. One of his books, Judicial Review in New Democracies (Cambridge University Press 2003) won the C. Herman Pritchett Award from the American Political Science Association for best book on law and courts. He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo, Kyushu University, Seoul National University, the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Trento. He currently co-directs the Comparative Constitutions Project, an effort funded by the National Science Foundation to gather and analyze the constitutions of all independent nation-states since 1789. Before entering law teaching, he served as a legal adviser at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, The Hague, Netherlands, and consulted with numerous international development agencies and foreign governments on legal and constitutional reform. He is also the co-driector of the Center on Law and Globalization.

Becky Pettit                                                                                                                                     

Becky Pettit is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Washington. Her general areas of interest include demography, economic sociology, and inequality.  Past research has examined race and class inequality in the likelihood of spending time in prison and the implications of the growth of the American penal population on the labor market opportunities and experiences of low-skill men in the United States.  She recently completed a book manuscript investigating how gender inequality in the workplace is institutionalized through state and market policies and practices.  While at the ABF she will be working on a project examining the implications of the recent rise in the American penal population for racial inequalities in demographic and health outcomes. 

Pettit has been the recipient of many honors and awards.  Her paper “Black-White Wage Inequality, Employment Rates, and Incarceration” (with Bruce Western of Harvard University) received the James Short paper award from the American Sociological Association Crime, Law, and Deviance Section.  She has been a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, and is the recipient of a mentored research development award (K01) from the National Institutes of Health (NICHD) for her work on “Institutionalizing Inequality:  Gender, Work and Family.”  Professor Pettit teaches courses on social inequality and stratification, sociology of the family, and statistics.  She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University and a B.A. in sociology from University of California at Berkeley.

Osvaldo Saldias

Osvaldo Saldias holds a fellowship at the Humboldt University in Berlin, graduate school “Multilevel Constitutionalism: European Experiences and Global Perspectives”, granted by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Areas of interest include political theories of regional integration and comparative legal studies, especially the transplantation of legal systems. His current PhD dissertation at the Free University in Berlin is called “Supranational Jurisprudence as agent of Regional Integration” and compares the role of the European Court of Justice and the Tribunal of the Andean Community in regional integration. His last article on regional studies “Comparative Community Law” is coming out in the UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal Vol. 26 No. 1 (2008). He holds a professional law degree (Lic. Iur.) from University of Chile and a M.A. in European Political Studies from University of Heidelberg.

  Before teaching at Universidad Mayor de Chile in 2004, he practiced law in the field of international trade, and published a book on European Principles of Contract Law: “El contrato de compraventa internacional en el comercio Chile-Union Europea” (Ed. Metropolitana, Santiago 2006). In 2006-2007 he was co-coordinator of the Ibero-American Colloquium at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg,


 Christopher W. Schmidt

Christopher W. Schmidt holds a Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He researches U.S. legal and constitutional history, with a focus on civil rights in the twentieth century; the relationship between intellectual history, social movements, and constitutional change; urban history and local government law. Currently, he is revising his dissertation, "Creating Brown v. Board of Education: Ideology and Constitutional Change, 1945-1955," for publication, and is working on two new projects: a constitutional history of the student sit-in movement of the 1960s, and a study of the interplay of historic preservation activity and law in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood.


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