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Novak, William J.

Charles F. and Edith J. Clyne Professor of Law

971A Legal Research
734.763.9857
E-mail wnovak@umich.edu

Bill Novak, the Charles F. and Edith J. Clyne Professor of Law, is an award-winning legal scholar and historian. He teaches in the fields of legal history, legislation, and regulation, and his research interests focus on the history of the modern American regulatory state. He previously was a professor of history at the University of Chicago and a research professor at the American Bar Foundation. In 1996, he published The People's Welfare: Law and Regulation in Nineteenth-Century America, which won the American Historical Association's Littleton-Griswold Prize for Best Book in the History of Law and Society. He also co-edited a volume on The Democratic Experiment in 2003 with Meg Jacobs and Julian Zelizer, and a volume on Boundaries of the State in U.S. History in 2015 with Jim Sparrow and Steve Sawyer. He is currently collaborating with Naomi Lamoreaux and The Tobin Project on a volume on The Corporation and American Democracy with a projected publication date of 2016. He also continues to work on his own monographic research project, "The Creation of the Modern American State."

Recent Publications

More Publications...


"The Myth of the New Deal State." In Liberal Orders: The Political Economy of the New Deal and its Opponents, edited by N. Lichtenstein, J-C Vinel, and R. Huret. Forthcoming.​

"The Continental Idea of the State." In Max Planck Handbooks of Public Law in Europe, Volume 1: State and Administration, edited by A. Bogdandy, P. Huber, Cass., and S. Cassese. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming.​

"The Public Utility Idea and the Origins of Modern Business Regulation." In The Corporation and American Democracy. Forthcoming. ​

Co-author. "Revolutionary Origins of a Strong American State." S. Pincus, co-author. In State Formations: Histories and Cutlures of Statehood, edited by J. L Brooke and J. C. Strauss. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming.​

"Putting the 'Public' in Public Administration." In Administrative Law from the Inside Out: Essays on Themes in the Work of Jerry Mashaw. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming.​

"Democratic States of Unexception: Towards a New Genealogy of the American Political." S. W. Sawyer and J. T. Sparrow, co-authors. In The Many Hands of the State, edited by A. Orloff and K. Morgan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming.​

Co-editor. Boundaries of the State in U.S. History. J. T. Sparrow and S. Sawyer, co-editors. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015.
MLaw Catalog

"The Concept of the State in American History." In Boundaries of the State in U.S. History, edited by J. T. Sparrow, W. J. Novak, and S. Sawyer, 325-49. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015.
MLaw Catalog

​"Beyond Stateless Democracy." S. W. Sawyer and J. T. Sparrow, co-authors. Tocqueville Rev. 36, no. 1 (2015): 21-41.
Full Text: Project Muse (UMich users) | Project Muse

"Beyond Max Weber: The Need for a Democratic (Not Aristocratic) Theory of the Moderny State." Tocqueville Rev. 36, no. 1 (2015): 43-91.
Full Text: Project Muse (UMich users) | Project Muse

Co-author. "Emancipation and the Creation of Modern Liberal States in America and France." S. Sawyer, co-author. J. Civ. War Era 3, no. 4 (2013): 467-500.
Full Text: Project Muse (UMich Users) | Project Muse

"A Revisionist History of Regulatory Capture." In Preventing Regulatory Capture: Special Interest Influence and How to Limit it, edited by D. Moss and D. Carpenter, 25-48. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013.
Full Text: WWW