Sean Farhang


Sean Farhang’s research interests focus mainly on civil litigation, and the role of litigation and courts in regulatory implementation, with a particular interest in the political and institutional forces that shape it. His first book, The Litigation State: Public Regulation and Private Lawsuits in the U.S. (Princeton University Press, 2010), examines the sources of private litigation in the enforcement of federal law, stressing Congress’s role in enacting incentives calculated to mobilize this form of regulatory implementation in the American separation of powers context.  His second book, Rights and Retrenchment: The Counterrevolution Against Federal Litigation (with Stephen Burbank, forthcoming on Cambridge University Press), examines the emergence and development of the political and legal movement to restrict opportunities and incentives for private enforcement of federal law through litigation.  He is working on a new book project that investigates the relationship between substantive regulatory policymaking when Congress drafts statutes, and Congress’s choice to rely on litigation and courts in implementation.  His work has also appeared in numerous social science and law journals.  During the 2016-17 academic year, he will be Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School (fall), and Yale Law School (spring).   


B.A., UC Berkeley (1990)
J.D., New York University (1993)
Ph.D., Columbia University (2006)