JSP Scope

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Largest JSP Doctoral Hooding Ever!

Seven JSP students were hooded in recognition of the completion of their doctoral degrees during the May 12, 2007, Boalt Hall commencement exercises at the Greek Theater.

Susan M. Dennehy / hooding by Kristin Luker

Shifting Family Boundaries: State Courts, Functional Parents, and the Expansion of Parental Status

This dissertation examines how state courts define legal parenthood and assign parental rights in a social landscape with a wide variety and large number of non-traditional families. Courts have extended parental rights to some individuals who function as parents in some circumstances, such a grandparents who are primary caretakers or the cohabiting partner of a biological parent. At the same time, courts have not established a new framework in which diverse families are widely accepted. On the contrary, courts have construed their decisions to fit within a traditional values paradigm.

Future plans: Susan is currently in student affairs in the department of French and Comparative Literature, here at UC Berkeley.

Alexandra Huneeus / hooding by Robert Kagan

The Dynamics of Judicial Stasis: Judges, Pinochet-Era Claims, and the Question of Judicial Legitimacy in Chile (1998-2005)

How does a judiciary once complicit with an authoritarian government come to embrace human rights norms? Chile’s judges finally began prosecuting Pinochet-era claims of human rights violations in 1998, a quarter century after they took place. The dissertation argues that the change in the jurisprudence reflects both that judges wanted to redeem their institution and themselves from the authoritarian past, but, paradoxically, that they were also concerned with deferring to the executive.

Future plans: Alexandra is currently a post-doc at Stanford, and in the fall will begin teaching at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Law School and Legal Studies Program.

Chrysanthi Settlage Leon / hooding by Frank Zimring

Compulsion and Control -- Sex Crime and Criminal Justice Policy in California, 1930-2007

Until about 1980, California's sex offender punishment regime differentiated among sex offenders (for better and for worse), tracking the majority of offenders as misdemeanants, civilly committing some, and sending others to prison. After 1980, sex offender incarceration increased as a tailwind effect of general incarceration, while a singular theory of sexually offending conduct justified other shifts in penal policy, including broad community notification laws. Since the public has almost always held an undifferentiated image of the sex offender as a monster, sex offender policy is likely to continue to show increasing punitiveness even when general incarceration moderates. Experts and criminal justice decision-makers--especially victim advocates and prosecutors--will have to publicly identify the problems caused by this undifferentiated approach if we hope to truly improve public safety, allocate scarce resources wisely, and protect all citizens from harm and injustice.

Future plans: Santhi will be Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware beginning in July.

Shahla Maghzi-Ali / hooding by Malcolm Feeley

International Arbitration and Mediation in East Asia: Examining the Role of Domestic Legal Culture and Globalization on Shaping East Asian Arbitration

*The dissertation examines the dual impact of globalization and cultural diversity on the practice of international arbitration in East Asia. It finds that because of the flexible structure of the United Nations Model Law framework, procedural variation of arbitration approach can coexist with a relatively high level of substantive legal convergence across regions.

Future plans: After graduation: Shahla plans to both teach and practice in the field of
international dispute resolution in East Asia.

Dorit Rubinstein / hooding by Malcolm Feeley

Regulatory Accountability: Telecommunications and Electricity Agencies in the UK, France and Sweden

This dissertation examines the response of administration agencies to multiple and conflicting accountability pressures in the context of the agencies regulating the liberalized electricity and telecommunications sectors in the UK, France and Sweden. The dissertation concludes that agencies use different accountability strategies to legitimize their behavior and those strategies vary according to the issue in question, not according to national factors or sector characteristics.

Future plans: Dorit will be taking a tenure track position in UC Hastings College of Law.

Shalini Satkunanandan / hooding by Jonathan Simon

Encountering the Ground of Obligation: Plato and Kant on the Turn

This dissertation studies Plato's and Kant's accounts of conversion in order to illuminate the character of obligation. Plato's and Kant's accounts of conversion challenge the contractual explanation of obligation that prevails in political, legal, and moral theory.

Future plans: Shalini will be Harper Fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Chicago and a Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences Collegiate Division.

Joshua Wilson / hooding by Robert Kagan

Rights, Process, & Political Passions: A Study of Three Anti-Abortion Protest Regulation Cases

The dissertation examines three case studies involving anti-abortion protests and speech rights in order to study how legal ideals, procedures, and actors affect individual political passions. The project shows how law can occasionally facilitate, but more often undermines the ability to constrain or structure political passions.

Future plans: Josh will be an Assistant Professor in the Government Department at CUNY John Jay.

Monday, May 07, 2007

JSP Dissertation to be Recognized at 2007 LSA Annual Meeting

The Law and Society Association recently announced that the dissertation of Dr. Virginia Mellema (2006) entitled: Race Matters: The Paradox of Race in Police Personnel Decisions has received honorable mention after being nominated for the LSA 2007 Dissertation Prize.

A special awards session is scheduled during the July, 2007 LSA/RCSL meetings in Berlin where an announcement will be made of this outstanding scholarly achievement. Ginna will be attending the meetings and will be in attendance at this special session.

(Ginna's hooding '06, with Dean Edley and Professor Edelman presiding)

Congratulations Ginna!