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Novak, William J.

Charles F. and Edith J. Clyne Professor of Law

409 Hutchins Hall
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 (University of North Carolina Press), which won the American Historical Association's Littleton-Griswold Prize for Best Book in the History of Law and Society. He has since co-edited three additional books: The Democratic Experiment (Princeton University Press) in 2003 with Meg Jacobs and Julian Zelizer, The State in U.S. History (University of Chicago Press) in 2015 with Jim Sparrow and Steve Sawyer, and The Corporation and American Democracy (Harvard University Press) in 2017 with Naomi Lamoreaux and The Tobin Project. He currently is completing a volume on New Democracy in the American Progressive Era while working with Dan Crane and The Tobin Project on an edited collection on Antimonopoly and American Democracy.

Recent Publications

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"Of Rights and Regulation." Stephen W. Sawyer, co-author. In Socioeconomic Rights in History, edited by Charles Walton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming, 2020.

"Morals, Sex, Crime, and the Origins of Modern American Social Police." In The Intimate State, edited by Margot Canaday, Nancy Cott, and Robert Self. Forthcoming, 2020.

"The American Law of Overruling Necessity." In States of Exception in American History, edited by Gary Gerstle and Joel Isaac. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020.

"The Progressive Idea of Democratic Administration." U. Pa. L. Rev. 167 (2019): 1823-48.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN

"Social Freedom, Democracy and the Political: Three Reflections on Axel Honneth's Idea of Socialism." Stephen W. Sawyer and James T. Sparrow, Tocqueville Rev. 40, no. 1 (2019): 241-59.
Full Text: Project Muse (UMich users) | Project Muse

"Institutional Economics and the Progressive Movement for the Social Control of Business." Bus. Hist. Rev. 93 (2019): 665-96.
Full Text: WWW

"Revolutionary State Formation." Steven Pincus, co-author. In State Formations: Global Histories and Cultures of Statehood, edited by John L Brooke et al., 138-55. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.

"The Public Utility Idea and the Origins of Modern Business Regulation." In The Corporation and American Democracy, by The Tobin Project; edited by N. R. Lamoreaux and W. J. Novak, 139-76. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2017.

"The Continental Idea of the State." In Max Planck Handbooks of Public Law in Europe, Volume I: State and Administration, edited by A. von Bogdandy, P. Huber, and S. Cassese. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

"The Administrative State in America." In The Administrative State, edited by Armin von Bogdandy et al., 98-124. Max Planck Handbooks in European Public Law, 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

"Response: The People's Welfare Redux." Am. J. Legal Hist. 57, no. 2 (2017): 248-55.
Full Text: Lexis | Westlaw | WWW

"Putting the 'Public' in Public Administration: The Rise of the Public Utility Idea." In Administrative Law from the Inside Out: Essays on Themes in the Work of Jerry Mashaw, edited by N. R. Parrillio, 373-97. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

"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, 2017.‚Äč

"Corporations and American Democracy: An Introduction." N. R. Lamoreaux, co-author. Introduction to Corporations and American Democracy, by N. R. Lamoreaux, W. J. Novak, and The Tobin Project, co-editors, 1-33. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2017.

Co-editor. Corporations and American Democracy, by The Tobin Project. N. R. Lamoreaux, co-editor. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2017.