Legal Studies Courses Spring 2019

R1B: Punishment and Capital Punishment, Tobias Smith, 4 units, Area N/A

In this course we will consider three big questions: What is punishment? Why do we punish? And, what, if anything, is distinctive about capital punishment (that is, the death penalty)? The first half of the course explores major theories of punishment. The second half of the course focuses on the case of contemporary California. Topics will include the death penalty, life without parole, solitary confinement and prison overcrowding.

NOTE: R1B courses must be taken for a letter grade.
**This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**

39D: Current Political & Moral Conflicts & the Constitution  Frosh/Soph Seminar, Pomerantz, 2 units, Area N/A

**This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**
There are two sections of 39D Spring 2019. Check the Berkeley Academic Guide Schedule for details.

We will read Supreme Court cases, as well as political and legal commentary from across the political spectrum, and consider not only the opinions of the Justices, but also why they hold those opinions. We will seek to discover the way in which courts use authority and craft law. Here is an article about the course (video included).

100: Foundations of Legal Studies, Perry, 4 units, Core (H, SS)

This is a liberal arts course designed to introduce students to the foundational frameworks and cross-disciplinary perspectives from humanities and social sciences that distinguish legal studies as a scholarly field. It provides a comparative and historical intro to forms, ideas, institutions, and systems of law and sociological ordering. It highlights basic theoretical problems and scholarly methods for understanding questions of law and justice.

103: Theories of Law and Society, Tomlins, 4 units, Core (H, SS) or Area II

A historical examination of major interpretations of law, morals and social development, with special emphasis on the social thought of the 18th and 19th centuries. The course covers Montesquieu, Maine, Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and other theorists.

105: Theoretical Foundations of Criminal Law, Dan-Cohen, 3 units, Area I or II or III

Criminal law raises fundamental theoretical issues that have occupied philosophers over the years. In the course we will discuss a selection of articles that bring to bear such a philosophical perspective on important aspects of criminal law. Topics include justification of punishment, foundations of blame and responsibility, substantive values protected by criminal law, significance of actual harm, liability of groups and other collectivities, and virtues and limits of the rule of law.

123: Data, Prediction & Law, Marshall, 4 units, Area I or V

Data, Prediction, and Law allows students to explore different data sources that scholars and government officials use to make generalizations and predictions in the realm of law. The course will also introduce critiques of predictive techniques in law. Students will apply the statistical and Python programming skills from Foundations of Data Science to examine a traditional social science dataset, “big data” related to law, and legal text data.
***Note: students should complete Foundations of Data Science, or complete equivalent preparation in Python and statistics, before enrolling in this course.

132AC: Immigration and Citizenship, Prof. Pratheepan Gulasekaram (from Santa Clara University), 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.

138: The Supreme Court & Public Policy, Brown,  4 units, Core (SS) or Area IV or V

This course examines a number of leading U.S. Supreme Court decisions in terms of what policy alternatives were available to the Court and which ones it chose. Prospective costs and benefits of these alternatives and who will pay the costs and who gets the benefits of them are considered. Among the areas considered are economic development, government regulation of business, national security, freedom of speech and discrimination. Readings are solely of Supreme Court decisions.

141: Wall Street to Main Street, Brilliant/Solomon, 4 units, Area III (room-shared with American Studies 102 and History 133B)

As longstanding metaphors in American history and culture, “Wall Street” and “Main Street” typically refer to streets that intersect at right angles and places that represent the antithesis of each other.  In this rendering, Wall Street is home to nefarious big banks and greedy financiers, while Main Street is home to wholesome “mom-and-pop” shops patronized by ordinary people of modest means. What’s good for one is not good for the other. This course, which will be co-taught by a historian and corporate law professor, will examine critical junctures in the intersection of Wall Street and Main Street in American history and culture, how and why Wall Street and Main Street have been understood to point in opposite directions, the extent to which that understanding makes sense, and how and why the relationship between Wall Street and Main Street has evolved over time.

147: Law & Economics II, David Sunding, 4 units, Area III

Microeconomic theory will be applied to government and regulation. Topics include the economic analysis of constitutional law, administrative law, regulation, corporations, and environmental law.  To illustrate, the behavior of legislators who want to maximize the votes that they receive will be described and predicted.  Similarly, the behavior of regulatory agencies who seek to maximize their own budgets will be predicted. The best forms of regulation will be identified assuming that parties subject to it minimize the cost of compliance, as when corporations try to satisfy environmental controls at least cost.  Law &  Economics I (LS 145) is not a prerequisite. 

149: Law, Technology & Entrepreneurship, Katyal, 4 units, Area III

Entrepreneurship plays an increasingly essential role in today’s global economy.  New companies and startups play valuable roles in the formation of new industry, also spurring established incumbent companies towards further growth.  This course is designed to explore the role of law in facilitating the development of entrepreneurial enterprises, paying special attention to the complex interaction between innovation and regulation.

154: Human Rights Research & Practice, Koenig/Stover, 4 units, Area IV

This course provides an overview of international human rights, including the field’s historical and theoretical foundations; the jurisprudence of international human rights; empirical insights from disciplines such as sociology, psychology, history, and anthropology; and emerging trends in human rights practice.

157: International Relations & International Law, Ivana Stradner, 4 units, Area IV or V

This course will evaluate and assess modern theories of international law. We will examine the work of legal scholars and look to political science and economics to see how these disciplines inform the study of international law. We will also examine a host of fundamental questions in international law, including, for example, why states enter into international agreements, why states comply with international law, and what kind of state conduct is likely to be influenced by international law.

159: Introduction to Law & Sexuality, Katyal, 4 units, Area II or IV

This course focuses on the legal regulation of sexuality, and the social and historical norms and frameworks that affect its intersection with sex, gender, race, disability, and class. We will critically examine how the law shapes sexuality and how sexuality shapes the law. Our subject matter is mostly constitutional, covering sexuality’s intersection with privacy, freedom of expression, gender identity and expression, equal protection, reproduction, kinship, and family formation, among other subjects. We will study case law, legal articles, and other texts (including visual works) that critically engage issues of sexuality, citizenship, nationhood, religion, and the public and private spheres domestically and internationally.

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

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, Amnon Reichman, 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.

177: American Legal & Constitutional History, 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.

183:  The Psychology of Diversity & Discrimination in American Law, Plaut, 4 units, Area II or IV 

How does the psychology of culture, race, and ethnicity shape the legal pursuit of diversity and equal treatment? How are Americans thinking about and doing diversity in their everyday lives? What are the predominant perspectives on diversity and how are they being deployed or challenged in legal battles over race-conscious policies? What are the implications for efforts to remedy historic intergroup conflict and discrimination? These will be the central questions of this course. We will examine concepts of race and culture, various understandings of and approaches to diversity found in the law, and the role of sociocultural structures in shaping the operation of anti-discrimination law and social policy. Special attention will be given to the use of diversity-related psychological research in law. Some topics include: cultural psychology and cultural defense; psychology of desegregation; psychology of colorblindness and equal protection; psychology of “critical mass” and affirmative action; stereotyping, intent, and discrimination; cultural differences in attraction and implications for discrimination; psychology of sexism in the workplace; psychology of social class and poverty; psychology of disability and disability discrimination.

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. 

190.1: Gandhi, Law & Civil Rights Movements: Globalizing Nonviolence, Purushottama Bilimoria (from the Graduate Theological Union), 4 units, Area II or IV

We will explore the basic theories and practices related to Human/Sentient Rights internationally and as translated into Civil Rights nationally with an emphasis on the legal engagements in the quest to bring about the structural and procedural changes needed to secure such rights and the reciprocal obligations on the part of the state. We shall examine the impact that law has on social progressive causes and vice versa. We will cover such topics as: Gandhi’s praxis of nonviolence and the Indian struggle against colonial England and the oppressive hands of the Black Letter Law (throughout the British Empire, e.g. Locke’s decree terra nullius applied to native and indigenous ‘vacant land’ dispossession); African American and Indian freedom fighters. We will examine more broadly the ways in which groups around the globe encountered and fought against all types of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, color, gender, and dis/abilities in employment, education, and the basic rights of citizenship, including the right to truth-force, alleviation of poverty, equity in labor rewards and employment opportunities, freedom from incarceration, and fair and non-punitive police and judicial treatment under the ‘Rule of Law’. In other words, justice as fairness and equal treatment, drawing here on theories of justice from philosophers such as John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas, Robert Nozick, Amartya Sen, and Martha Nussbaum.

190.2:  Basic Legal Values, Dan-Cohen, 3 units, Area II

Although everyone agrees that law promotes some values, what these values are is often unclear and controversial. This is increasingly the case the more we come to recognize cultural diversity and moral pluralism faced by the law. In this seminar we will examine a number of values that have been advanced within the liberal tradition, such as well-being, autonomy, and dignity, and consider their potential role in shaping or explaining a wide range of legal disputes. The seminar will divide into two parts. In the first, we’ll get acquainted with these values in the context of the two main strands in liberal moral theory – utilitarianism and Kantianism – and consider some general issues concerning the meaning of these values and their interrelationships. The second part will consist of student presentations on specific substantive topics in which the general issues discussed in the first part arise.

LS 190.3: 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.

190.5: Youth, Law & Space, Behnoosh Payvar, 4 units, Area I or II

This course explores how implementation and interpretation of law affects youth, how space and its interaction with law create norms, and how space affects the context in which law operates. We will use an interdisciplinary approach to inquire about social space and its dynamics and transformations; power and politics; conflict in schools; alternative spaces; interactions; culture, arts and emergence of new ideas; and policing and urban space. We will bring examples from different countries and regions to the class including the United States, Asia, Europe, and Middle East to broaden our perspective on how interactions work in different contexts.

190.6: Law, Technology & Regulation, Behnoosh Payvar, 4 units, Area II or IV

This course explores the effectiveness of law and regulations in the course of changing perceptions in modern societies, and how technology mediates social change through influencing norms and values. We will address cyber law, file sharing and filtering with examples from different countries, values and social meaning, governance, digital content and rights, communication in digital age, and cultural and institutional diversity of the network society. During the course, we discuss, analyze and compare the role of information technology in relation to social change in geographies with different legal and normative systems.

H195B: Legal Studies Honors Thesis, Supervising Professor, 3 units, can be counted towards the Area in which two courses are taken.

Study of an advanced topic under the supervision of a faculty member leading to the completion of a senior honors thesis.

H195C: Legal Studies Honors Research and Writing Seminar, Edelman, 2 unit, Areas not applicable.

The goal of the seminar is to provide Honors students additional support as they conduct the research for and write their senior honors theses, and prepare presentations for the Spring Studies Undergraduate Research Conference. Honors students enroll in the two unit LS H195C seminar during the second semester of the Honors Program along with the three units of LS H195B.