Legal Studies Courses Spring 16

***Always check the OSOC for the latest most up-to-date info.***

NOTE: For Old Plan Areas, please refer to the ‘Courses’ list for the  Old Plan.

R1B: Title to be announced at a later date. Instructor to be announced at a later date.  4 units, Area N/A
NOTE: R1B courses must be taken for a letter grade.

**This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**

LS 107 – Theories of Justice, Kutz, (4 units) Core (H) or Area II or III or IV

This course examines the idea of justice as a critical standard in law and politics. The main emphasis will be on social justice and the distribution of liberty, wealth, and power in society. The course will cover four modern theories that relate distributive justice to ideas about liberty, equality, need, desert, efficiency, markets, property, and community:  utilitarianism (Bentham and Mill), libertarianism (Nozick and Friedman), egalitarian liberalism (Rawls and Walzer), and Marxism (Marx and Cohen). To assess the strengths and weaknesses of these theories, we will discuss their implications for a range of issues, including legal regulation of sex and marriage, labor market regulations, affirmative action, and immigration.

LS 132AC – Immigration and Citizenship, Volpp, (4 units) Area II or IV

We often hear that America is a “nation of immigrants.” This representation of the U.S. does not explain why some are presumed to belong and others are not. We will examine both historical and contemporary law of immigration and citizenship to see how law has shaped national identity and the identity of immigrant communities . In addition to scholarly texts, we will learn to read and analyze excerpts of cases and the statute that governs immigration and citizenship, the Immigration and Nationality Act.

LS 138 – The Supreme Court & Public Policy, T. Burke,  (4 units) Core (SS) or IV or V

A policy, as opposed to legal, analysis of a number of earlier and recent Supreme Court decisions.

LS 153 – Law & Society in Asia, Marshall, (4 units) Area II or V

This course offers a comparative perspective on law and legal institutions. Looking comparatively helps shed light on our own system and question what is “normal” or “natural.” From what it means to be a lawyer to notions of what is “just” or “fair,” courts and dispute resolution outside the U.S. can be both very different and, at times, surprisingly familiar. After an overview of concepts and classic approaches to the study of law and society, the course will explore these differences and similarities in three Asian settings: China, Japan, and India. Topics include lawyers, illicit sex, and environmental protection, to see how each country’s history, political structure, values, and interests shape how legal issues are defined and play out.

LS 154 – International Human Rights, Koenig/Stover, (4 units) Area IV

This course considers how the practice of punishing crime can be understood in terms of the larger system of social life and cultural values in which punishment occurs. In exploring the social meanings of punishment, it examines some of the major historical changes in punishment that have been introduced in America and Europe since the 18th century.

LS 160 – Punishment, Culture, and Society, Perry, (4 units) Core (H, SS) or Area I or II, H or SS

This course surveys the development of Western penal practices, institutions, and ideas (what David Garland calls “penality”) from the eighteenth-century period to the present. Our primary focus will be on penal practices and discourses in United States in the early 21st century. In particular we will examine the extraordinary growth of US penal sanctions in the last quarter century and the sources and consequences of what some have called “mass imprisonment.” To gain some comparative perspective the course will also take up contemporary penality (or penalities) in Europe, South Africa, Central America, and Asia, as well as US penality and society at some earlier conjunctures.
In our analysis of penality, we will draw upon a range of social science theories with general relevance but with particularly rich application to the study of punishment. These theories provide the “tool kits” we will use to interpret and analyze multiplex implications of punishment and its relationship to changes in economic, social, and political relations associated with modernization and more recently the globalization of modern capitalism. The course will examine many examples of penal practices and the ideas associated with them including mass imprisonment, the death penalty, and restorative justice. In the last portion of the class we will examine the recent crisis in California’s juvenile prisons through the lenses both of different social theories and the examples of different national and historical penal patterns.

174: Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Israel, O. Aronson, (4 units) Area IV or V

The seminar will provide an introduction to the comparative study of constitutional law through the lens of Israeli constitutional jurisprudence – a jurisprudence built explicitly on the foundations of a variety of other constitutional systems, reflecting the diversity of approaches to constitutionalism.  Through this comparative framework students will learn basic constitutional theory as well as explore some of the major constitutional debates in Israeli contemporary law. The constitutional theory part of the course will discuss the formation of Israeli constitution in comparison with the structure of other constitutions such as the U.S. Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This framework will introduce the central notions of constitutionalism – the ideas that that constitutions can (and should) limit government; the role of the judiciary in interpreting and enforcing the constitution; and the importance of constitutional rights.  Among the constitutional debates that the class will explore are topics such as freedom of expression and freedom of association, equality, the right of human dignity, due process, social rights, freedom of occupation, freedom of religion etc. These topics will also be looked at from a comparative perspective drawing upon different constitutional regimes such as the Canadian Charter and the constitution of South Africa.

LS 177 – American Legal & Constitutional History, R. B. Brown, (4 units) Core (H)  or Area II or III or V

This course explores the history of American legal institutions and doctrine from colonial times to the present. It deals both with the history of American constitutional law (through the study of major U.S. Supreme Court opinions) and with the development of certain important bodies of non-constitutional law, such as the law of property, the law of torts (civil wrongs), and criminal law. In exploring how American law has developed over time the course may serve as something of an introduction to our current legal and constitutional order.

LS 182 – Law, Politics, and Society, Feeley, (4 units) Core (SS) or Area IV or V

This course examines the theory and practice of legal institutions in performing several major functions of law: allocating authority, defining relationships, resolving conflict, adapting to social change, and fostering social solidarity. In doing so, it will assess the nature and limits of law as well as consider alternative perspectives on social control and social change.

LS 187 – Diversity, Law & Politics, T. Lee, (4 units) Area IV or V

Dimensions of diversity at the heart of this course are perceptions of commonality and attributions of difference defined by race and immigration. Emphasis is given to contemporary law and politics in the U.S., but with an eye toward how the law and politics of the here and now is rooted in history. “Race” is broadly defined by concepts of identity, immigration, citizenship, class, ethnicity, and gender. “Politics” is broadly defined both by a center stage of elite actors in government and the laws and policies they make and implement, and by the relevant contexts and audiences that define that stage, inclusive of elections, civic engagement, protests, political talk, and organizational behavior. 

LS 190.1 – History of Punishment, Lieberman, 4 units, Area I

The seminar will examine several leading programs for the reform and systematic overhaul of criminal punishment in the U.S. and western Europe during the period from the late-18th to the early-20th century.  Readings will focus on the original presentations of these reform projects, rather than on contemporary scholarship in which they are discussed.  A major area of attention is the emergence in the early-19th century of the penitentiary as the standard sanction for the treatment of the most serious crimes and to subsequent efforts to adapt imprisonment to new penal purposes.

LS 190.2 – Theories of Justice in a Diverse Society, Song, 4 units, Area II

In this course we will examine some key concepts and topics in contemporary political and legal philosophy through close reading of texts. The focus will be on theories of equality and democracy. Some of the questions we will pursue include:  What is equality? Is it about ensuring a fair distribution of things, a certain kind of relationship or standing that people have to each other, or something else entirely? Which kinds of inequality are objectionable, and why? How should we conceive of equality across racial and gender lines? What is democracy? Is it about preference aggregation, majority rule, deliberation, social equallity, or something else? What is the relationship between democracy and rights? Is judicial review compatible with democracy? We will also read some court cases that take up issues of equality and democracy.

LS 190.3 – Intro to Gender & Sexuality Law, Katyal, 4 units, Area II or IV

In this course, students will learn about the history and ramifications of famous cases regulating the intersection of law and sexuality in the United States.  Special attention will be paid to the way in which common law and the statutory regulation of sexuality has intersected with class, race, disability, and gender, with a special focus on more recent social and artistic movements regarding queer sexualities, specifically the transgender rights movement, the international LGBTQ movement, and related civil rights movements in the modern era.  

LS 190.4 – Constitutions in Comparative Perspective, Shapiro, 4 units, Area V

An examination of constitutional decision making in a number of countries based on selected high court opinions.

LS 190.5 – Honors Discussion, Edelman/Brighten, 1 unit, Area N/A 

This is a one hour discussion for those also enrolled in H195B, the second half of the Honors Program.


Comments are closed.