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Issue 14 | School of Law
Advancing Interdisciplinary Legal Scholarship since 1978
A Message from the Director
Dear Colleagues,
I am delighted to share this update on recent and upcoming activities at the Baldy Center. We are celebrating our 40th anniversary with many interesting conferences and talks, including our recent conference on Tempering Power, keynoted by John Braithwaite.
We are also pleased to invite applications our senior and post-doctoral fellowships, due February 15.
I wish you a productive and rewarding New Year.
Errol Meidinger, Baldy Director
Featured News
Call for Postdoctoral Fellowship Applications
The Baldy Center plans to award one postdoctoral fellowship to a scholar pursuing important questions in law, legal institutions, and social policy. Applications are invited from junior scholars from law, the humanities, and the social and natural sciences.
Fellows are expected to participate regularly in Baldy Center events, but otherwise have no obligations beyond vigorously pursuing their research. Fellows receive standard university research privileges (access to university libraries, high-speed Internet, office space, computer equipment, phone, website space, working paper series, etc.), and are encouraged to develop collaborative research projects with faculty members where appropriate.
Post-Doctoral Fellowships are available to individuals who have completed the Ph.D. or J.D. but have not yet begun a tenure-track appointment. Post-Doctoral Fellows will receive an annual stipend of $40,000, up to $2000 in annual professional travel support, and appropriate relocation assistance. Post-doctoral fellowships are ordinarily for a period of two academic years. Information on current and past Baldy Post-Doctoral Fellows is available here
The deadline for completed Postdoctoral Fellowship applications is Friday, February 15, 2019. Please click here to apply.
Call for Senior Fellowship Applications 
The Baldy Center plans to award two fellowships for mid-career and senior scholars to spend a semester at the Center during the 2019-2020 academic year. These Fellowships are intended for established scholars who wish to work in the Center’s vibrant intellectual environment, typically during a sabbatical or research leave. Awardees receive a living expense allowance of $1,800 per month during the period of their residence, as well as modest relocation assistance and professional travel funding. The duration of the fellowship is typically one semester, but is negotiable at the time of award. Applications are invited from scholars in law, the humanities, and the social and natural sciences.
Fellows’ primary obligations are to vigorously pursue their research and to participate regularly (approximately once per week) in Baldy Center activities, including faculty workshops, distinguished speaker presentations, conferences, and an Advanced Sociolegal Research seminar. Fellows receive standard university research privileges (access to university libraries, high-speed Internet, office space, computer equipment, phone, website space, working paper series, etc.), and are encouraged to develop collaborative research projects with SUNY Buffalo faculty members where appropriate.
The deadline for completed Senior Fellowship applications is Friday, February 15, 2019. Please click here to apply.
Happy Birthday to the Baldy Center!
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the Baldy Center as a an important hub in the global social-legal research community. We have celebrated the occasion throughout the year. Over the summer, we co-hosted a reception with the American Bar Foundation at the Annual Conference of the Law and Society Association and the Canadian Law and Society Association in Toronto (June 7-10, 2018). On November 9, we co-hosted the annual Mitchell Lecture with the UB Law School, featuring John Braithwaite, Distinguished Professor at Australian National University. His lecture was complemented by an anniversary conference.
On November 9, we also launched a commemorative book, 40 Years at the Baldy Center: A Law and Society Hub in Buffalo, written by Buffalo-based journalist and writer Luke Hammill. His book chronicles the Center’s history, from its foundation as a socio-legal research institute in 1978 through its development into a wide-ranging facilitator of multidisciplinary research, writing, conferences, workshops, talks, courses and other events at UB and beyond. Thank you to all who joined our celebrations, and who have been part of Baldy initiatives over the years.
This anniversary monograph is available for free download at
Recent News
Fall 2018 Conferences
On September 21 and 22, 2018, we hosted the symposium, “Addiction as a Chronic Illness? Promises and Perils of a New Drug Policy Paradigm,” organized by UB Associate Professor of History David Herzberg, and Nils Kessel, Professor of History of Life and Health Sciences at the Université de Strasbourg. This event called for an end to punitive responses to addiction, and recast it as a chronic illness that is treatable, in part, with medications like buprenorphine. But the “chronic illness” paradigm raises new questions: How to avoid the stigma and social limitations associated with chronic illness? How to control pharmaceutical industry influence over medication assisted treatment (MAT)? This symposium brought together leading scholars of addiction, pharmaceuticals, and chronic illness to explore the promises and perils of applying this paradigm to drug dependence and addiction.
On November 10, 2018, the Baldy Center hosted its 40th Anniversary Conference, “Tempering Power.” Conference discussions were framed by John Braithwaite’s Mitchell Lecture, "Tempered Power, Variegated Capitalism, Law and Society", and focused on questions of capitalism and other constellations of power across multiple institutional avenues, including health care, national constitutions, and international courts. Taking an international perspective, participants’ papers explored the question of tempering power in many areas of pressing social concern, including climate change and minority activism. Read more about participants and their papers here.
Fall 2018 Distinguished Speakers
Daniel Markovits kicked off our Fall 2018 Distinguished Speaker Series on September 28 with a glimpse at his forthcoming book on meritocracy and economic inequality. Markovits’s provocative paper, “The Meritocracy Trap,” surveyed the key stakes of his forthcoming work, where he details and diagnoses the failings of meritocracy in American democracy by pointing to educational and financial institutional elitism that have become forms of structural inequality, and thereby betray the illusion of a democratic distribution of resources based on open, meritocratic institutions. Contextualizing the issue of the meritocracy in the rise of Trumpism, he ends the paper with an exhortation to move into more egalitarian policies, both domestically and institutionally. Markovits is Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Private Law. 
Michael Storper presented “Regional Innovation Transitions,” on October 12. The paper is a snapshot of a larger project in the forthcoming edited collection, Knowledge and Institutions 13: Knowledge and Space (J. Gluecker et al., eds: Springer, 2018). Storper’s paper compares the “information technology revolution” of the 1970s with our contemporary innovation environments centered on biotechnology, robotics, and artificial intelligence to track how innovation effects concentrated populations and local economies unevenly. His geographic approach to innovative development is grounded in a comparative case study of 1970s era Los Angeles and San Francisco, to assess how each region’s “relational infrastructure” underwrites this uneven development. Storper is Distinguished Professor of Regional and International Development in Urban Planning, as well as Director of Global Public Affairs at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. (Stanford University Press, 2015).
John Braithwaite gave a lecture entitled “Tempered Power, Variegated Capitalism, Law and Society,” as part of the UB School of Law’s annual Mitchell Lecture Series and the Baldy Center’s 40th Anniversary celebrations, on November 9. John Braithwaite is one of the world’s foremost scholars of regulation and governance. For 40 years he has consistently led the way in understanding and improving how societies channel behavior toward the broader public good. He was a primary inventor of the concept of “responsive regulation:” regulation that considers its actual effects on both intended beneficiaries and regulated parties, and adapts accordingly, always seeking to enhance freedom and reduce domination. In his provocative presentation, he addressed the challenges of pursuing these goals in a world of “variegated capitalism,” one in which the fundamental economic structures to be dealt with vary greatly among sectors and fields, both within and among societies. His guiding question is how to effectively temper power in a world of variegated capitalisms, such as "industrial capitalism, service economy capitalism, Silicon Valley, Wall Street financial capitalism, security state capitalism, sitting side by side.” Braithwaite is a Distinguished Professor at The Australian National University.
Saule Omarova’s discussion of fintech concluded our fall lineup of distinguished speakers on November 30. Her paper, “New Tech v. New Deal: Fintech as a Systemic Phenomenon,” part of a forthcoming publication in the Yale Journal on Regulation (2019), takes up technological innovations in finance, including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, as well as the digitization and roboticization of financial transactions. She points out that existing social, legal, and historical analyses of fintech have been focused on micro-level transactions; instead, she posits a systemic view of fintech. By placing fintech in the context of the American New Deal, she argues that it is less a “disruption” of financial institutions in the public and private sectors, a more a “decisive shift” in the sociopolitical structures underlying the financial system. While these changes potentially challenge the stability of economic frameworks, Omarova also points to the potential of fintech to inaugurate new, “more capacious forms of financial citizenship.” Omarova is Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. She specializes in regulation of financial institutions, banking law, international finance, and corporate finance. 
Fall 2018 Special Events
On Thursday, September 13, the Baldy Center partnered with the Robert H. Jackson Center to host Heather Ann Thompson, Professor of History at University of Michigan, to discuss her Pulitzer-Prize-winning book, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy (Pantheon Books, 2016). This book lucidly captures the uprising, the state’s violent response, and the subsequent fights for justice among prisoners, families, and advocates. It has also been optioned for a film adaptation.
On November 5, the Baldy Center, in collaboration with the UB Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the UB Gender Institute, hosted “Law and Gender Violence: A Global Perspective.” This conference brought together participants from Sri Lanka, India, and Italy to discuss a range of topics related to gender politics, including domestic violence, socio-political activism, and gender equality.
Together with the UB Department of History, Center for Disability Studies, and School of Social Work, the Baldy Center hosted Neil Diamant, Professor of Asian Law and Society at Dickinson College, for a two-day series of talks. On Thursday, November 8, Diamant presented his paper, "Disciplinary Nomadicism: Observations on Researching Messy History, Law, and Society in 20th Century China.” Using his research on China, Diamant examined the challenges of archival research presents to social scientists, especially when archives are difficultly-accessed or controlled by the state. On Friday, November 9, he followed up with a presentation entitled"The Expansion of Veteran Benefits in the 20th Century: How, Why and Where it Happened (Or Didn't): An International Perspective" at UB’s South Campus.
Current Baldy Fellows
Senior Fellows
Nancy S. Marder, Spring 2019 Senior Fellow, is Professor of Law at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she also serves as the Director of the Justice John Paul Stevens Jury Center and Co-Director of the Institute for Law and the Humanities.  She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, and is also an Academic Fellow of the Pound Civil Justice Institute. Her areas of expertise include juries, judges, and courts.  She is the author of forty law review articles, two books, nine book chapters, twenty-five essays, and eleven book reviews. She is a graduate of Yale Law School, and has a M.Phil. from Cambridge University, where she was a Mellon Fellow. Her Baldy Center research will focus on a book, The Power of the Jury:  Transforming Citizens into Jurors, which examines how every stage of the jury process—from voir dire to post-verdict interviews—helps to transform ordinary citizens into responsible jurors. Marder's theory of jurors starts from the premise that citizens can be complicated and have biases, as all people do, rather than assuming a simplistic model of jurors who are either biased or unbiased, as the traditional view does. This new theory nonetheless allows for understanding the creation of impartial jurors through the jury process. The approach Marder posits will give judges, lawyers, academics, legislators, and concerned citizens a new way to evaluate jury reforms.
Werner Reutter, Fall 2018 Senior Fellow, is a research fellow of political science at the Humboldt-University of Berlin. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, the University of Potsdam, the University of Bonn, the University of Jena, Humboldt-University of Berlin, and the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. His major publications include books and articles on interest groups, international trade union politics, constitutional politics, German federalism, and state constitutional courts. He studied public administration and political science at the University of Applied Sciences in Kehl/Rhine, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the Free University Berlin. As a senior fellow at the Baldy Center, he explored whether, and to what extent, decisions of a German subnational constitutional court and an American state supreme court infringe on the competencies of state legislatures.
Postdoctoral Fellows
Daniel Platt, 2018-2020 Postdoctoral Fellow, earned his Ph.D. in American Studies at Brown University. His research reconsiders the growth of household credit in the American economy during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by focusing on legal contests over the rights of debtors and creditors. Through a detailed examination of ordinary insolvency lawsuits and larger reform campaigns, Daniel’s work traces the initial vitality and gradual waning of this argument over these critical decades and the consequential freeing of household credit from traditional legal restraints that followed. An article drawn from this work, on the anti-usury struggles of the 1920s, appears in a recent issue of the Journal of American History. At the Baldy Center, Daniel is completing a second article and is revising his book manuscript, tentatively titled Governing Credit from the Age of Emancipation to the Keynesian Turn.
Amanda Hughett, 2017-2019 Postdoctoral Fellow, completed a PhD in History at Duke University. She came to the Baldy Center from the American Bar Foundation, where she was a Law and Social Sciences Doctoral Fellow. Her work tracks how lawyers’ efforts to secure procedural protections for inmates during the 1970s unintentionally undermined imprisoned activists’ ability to organize and to secure more substantive victories. At the Baldy Center, she has been revising her dissertation into a book manuscript tentatively titled Silencing the Cell Block: The Making of Modern Prison Policy in North Carolina and the Nation. She is also working on a new article tentatively entitled, "From Dignity to Equality: Constitutional Law and the Lost Movement for Imprisoned Women's Rights.”
David McNamee, 2017-2019 Postdoctoral Fellow, came to the Baldy Center after receiving a J.D. from Yale Law School, and while completing a PhD in Politics at Princeton University. His work centers on the roles and responsibilities of citizens in interpreting the American Constitution -- as voters and jurors, deliberators and disobedients, and more. At the Baldy Center, David has continued his research on citizens' responsibility to interpret the Constitution when they occupy the voting booth, the jury box, and other civic roles. He has further developed a theoretical account of the Citizens' Constitution as fundamental law, a source of basic principles that ground their disagreements. His latest article, "'Black Lives Matter' as a Claim of Fundamental Law," will be published in the University of Massachusetts Law Review, and he continues his work on the jury as a site for constitutional interpretation.
Visiting Scholars
Charles Whalen, 2018 Visiting Scholar, is an economist with a career spanning three decades. He has contributed to national economic policy discussions, equitable regional development, and business success based on employee involvement. He recently served six years in the Macroeconomic Analysis Division of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), where his contributions to reports and congressional testimony—on the slow growth of the U.S. economy, labor market challenges, and the economic effects of fiscal policy—were recognized by the agency’s highest honor, the CBO Director’s Award. Charles has also just published a paper, "Institutional Economics and Chock-Full Employment: Reclaiming the 'Right to Work' as a Cornerstone of Progressive Capitalism," Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper Series (available on SSRN). 
Announcements and Congratulations
The Baldy Center is pleased to announce that Director Errol Meidinger has been named a SUNY Distinguished Professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees. This appointment recognizes important faculty contributions to research, teaching and service. The Board cited Professor Meidinger’s groundbreaking work on the rise of non-state actors and complex regulatory communities in environmental and natural resource governance, as well as his work as Baldy Center Director and his other contributions to the University. He has taught at UB since 1982, and has also served as a Distinguished Environmental Scholar at Lewis and Clark Law School, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Freiburg in Germany, where he is Honorary Professor of Environment and Natural Resources.
At June’s annual Law and Society Association conference, current Postdoctoral Fellow Amanda Hughett was presented with the Law and Society Association's Dissertation Prize, for her dissertation entitled "Silencing the Cell Block: The Making of Modern Prison Policy in North Carolina and the Nation." The award committee noted the "immediate and important contribution" Hughett's dissertation makes to the field of sociolegal studies, specifically commending her writerly acumen, her thorough archival research, and her incisive exploration of prisoners' rights.
Congratulations to former Baldy Fellow, Nimer Sultany. His book, Law and Revolution: Legitimacy and Constitutionalism After the Arab Spring (Oxford University Press, 2017) was awarded both the International Society of Public Law Book Award and the 2018 Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship.
Upcoming Events, Opportunities, and Other News
Upcoming Conferences: Spring 2019
Environmental Justice in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank
Organized by UB Professor of Law Irus Braverman, this two-day research workshop took stock of the ecological impacts and environmental justice concerns after fifty years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza on February 7-8, 2019. The workshop focused on preparing manuscripts for publication and was by invitation only.
From Protest to Politics: Women’s Movements and Strengthening Democracy
Organized by Gwynn Thomas, Associate Professor and Chair of UB’s Global Gender and Sexuality Studies department, this conference will bring together renowned scholars of women’s movements and women’s political participation, along with local activists and organizers, to assess the role of social movements for women, ethnic and sexual minorities in an era of worldwide threats to democratic institutions amid the rise of authoritarianism. April 11-13, 2019. Further details and registration information here.
Upcoming Distinguished Speakers: Spring 2019
Catherine Fisk (February 22, 2019). Fisk is Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong Professor of Law at Berkeley Law School. Paper title: “Lawyers, Labor Protest, and the First Amendment in the Mid-Twentieth Century.”
András Sajó (March 1, 2019). Sajó served as a Judge on the European Court of Human Rights (2008-2017) and is a Professor at Central European University as well as the Global Visiting Professor of Law, New York University Law School. Paper title: “Human Rights in a Closing World.”
Cristina Bicchieri (March 8, 2019): Bicchieri is S.J.P. Harvie Professor of Social Thought and Comparative Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. Paper title: TBA.
Matthew D. Adler (March 29, 2019): Adler is Richard A. Horvitz Professor of Law and Professor of Economics, Philosophy and Public Policy at Duke University. Paper title: “Measuring Social Welfare: Beyond Cost-Benefit Analysis.”
John J. Donohue III (May 3, 2019): Donohue is C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. Paper title: "Right to Carry Laws and Violent Crime."
Steven Boutcher (May 10, 2019): Boutcher is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Paper title: "Financing Legal Education through Student Loans: Implications on Debt and Career Choice."
The Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy