Robert A. Kagan (Emeritus)



Professor Robert A. Kagan is Professor of Political Science and Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He holds a JD from Columbia Law School (1962) and Ph.D. from Yale University (1974). He began teaching political science Berkeley in 1974, and in 1988 also joined the JSP faculty. From 1993 to 2003, with an interval in 2001, he was Director of Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Law and Society. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University, Ohio State University, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences.

Professor Kagan is author of five books, numerous articles, and has edited seven books and three journal symposia. Professor Kagan is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in July, 2006, recipient of the Law and Society Association’s Harry Kalven Prize for distinguished sociolegal scholarship.

Kagan’s book Adversarial Legalism: The American Way of Law (2001), employs a comparative sociolegal perspective to analyze the distinctive features of American legal institutions and processes, their causes and consequences; it was the subject of a symposium in the American Bar Foundation journal Law and Social Inquiry. He continues to do research and writing in the field of comparative legal institutions and processes.

For many years, Kagan has been engaged in the empirical study of regulatory decision-making, enforcement and compliance. His books include Regulatory Justice (1978), a study of bureaucratic decision-making in the Nixon administration prize-wage freeze; Going by the Book: The Problem of Regulatory Unreasonableness, (1982, written with Eugene Bardach), a study of the sources and consequences of legalistic enforcement styles; Regulatory Encounters (2000), a series of case studies of how the day-to-day operation of regulatory regimes in the United States differs from parallel regimes in other democracies; and Shades of Green (2003, with Neil Gunningham and Dorothy Thornton), a cross-national study of how and why environmental performance varies across firms in the same industry. He is also the editor (with David Vogel) of Dynamics of Regulatory Change: How Globalization Affects National Regulatory Policies (2004) and (with Neil Gunningham) of Regulation and Business Behavior, Law & Policy Vol. 27 (April,2005). More recent publications include “Constitutional Litigation in the United States,” in Ralf Rogowski & Thomas Gawron, eds., Constitutional Courts in Comparison: The US Supreme Court and the German Federal Constitutional Court (2nd Ed), (Berghahn Books, 2016), with Gregory Elinson; “Varieties of Bureaucratic Justice: Building on Mashaw’s Typology” in Nicholas Parillo, ed, Administrative Law from the Inside Out: Essays on Themes in the Work of Jerry L. Mashaw (New York: Cambridge University Press. 2017); and “New Judicial Roles in Governance” in Erin Delaney & Rosalind Dixon, eds, Comparative Judicial Review, (Edward Elgar, 2018) with Diana Kapiszewski & Gordon Silverstein.

Professor Kagan’s faculty profile, curriculum vitae, bio, and other information can be found here.