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Novak, William J.

Charles F. and Edith J. Clyne Professor of Law

971A Legal Research

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 was previously 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 entitled "The Creation of the Modern American State."

Recent Publications

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​"The Public Utility Idea and the Origins of Modern Business Regulation." In The Corporation and American Democracy. Forthcoming, 2015.​

​"The Continental Idea of the State." In State and Administration, edited by A. von Bogdandy, P. Huber, and S. Cassese. Max Planck Handbooks of Public Law in Europe, vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming, 2015.​​

​"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. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Forthcoming, 2015.​​

​"Beyond Weber: The Need for a Theory of the Democratic State." Tocqueville Rev. (Forthcoming, 2015).​

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.
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co-author. "Toward a History of the Democratic State." S. Sawyer and J. T. Sparrow, co-authors. Tocqueville Rev. 33, no. 2 (2012): 7-18.
Full Text: Project Muse (UMich users) | Project Muse

"Making the Modern American Legislative State." In Living Legislation: Durability, Change, and the Politics of American Lawmaking, edited by J. Jenkins and E. Patashnik, 20-43. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.
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