Office Location: 243B Carr Building
Office Phone: (919) 684-2699
Duke Box: 90719
Email Address: email@example.com
Areas of Expertise
PhD, Yale University, 1995
M.Phil, Yale University, 1992
BA, Princeton University, 1987
Research Description: I explore the historical intersections among law, business, culture, society, and politics in the modern United States. My first book, Navigating Failure: Bankruptcy and Commercial Society in Antebellum America (UNC Press, 2001), examined the social experience of business failure in the age of the self-made man, as well as the legal institutions that arose to cope with this endemic feature of the nineteenth-century economic landscape.
I am now completing a monograph on the evolution of anti-fraud regulations in the United States, from the early nineteenth century to the present. Tentatively entitled Suckers, Swindlers, and an Ambivalent State: A History of Business Fraud in America, the book focuses on responses to “organizational fraud” – deception committed by businesses against customers, investors, and other counterparties. I pay especially close attention to the relationship between governmental regulation of commercial marketing practices and various mechanisms of business “self-regulation,” a relationship powerfully influenced by shifting ideas about the capacity of American consumers and investors to look out for themselves.
In recent years, I have also delved into interdisciplinary debates about the nature of regulatory policy more generally, as well as the evolution of dominant approaches to political economy in modern capitalist societies. This dimension of my scholarship led to the publication in 2010 of Government and Markets: Toward a New Theory of Regulation (Cambridge University Press, 2010), which I edited along with the historian David Moss. This volume brings together several new conceptual approaches to regulatory governance from across the social sciences. It also lays out a wide-ranging research agenda for regulatory studies.
Since 2010, I have directed the Rethinking Regulation Project, sponsored by Duke's Kenan Institute for Ethics, where I am also a senior fellow. This project brings together faculty and graduate students from across the university who are interested in regulatory policy and strategies of regulatory governance. For additional information, see: http://kenan.ethics.duke.edu/regulation/about/rethinking-regulation/
I am especially interested in mentoring graduate students who wish to study the history of business-state relations, the regulatory state, business culture, political economy, and legal institutions. Although my research expertise lies particularly with American history from 1815 to the present, I have advised several graduate students who have pursued transnational dissertation topics, or who study other areas of the world.
[last updated, 12/12]
Representative Publications (More Publications)