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Edward J. Balleisen, Associate Professor of History and Senior Fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics  

Office Location: 243B Carr Building
Office Phone: (919) 684-2699
Duke Box: 90719
Email Address: eballeis@duke.edu

Areas of Expertise

    Ph.D., Yale University, 1995
    M.Phil., Yale University, 1992
    B.A., Princeton University, 1987

    Current projects: Policy Shock: The Impact of Crisis Events on Regulatory Decision-making, Regulatory Oral History Project, Reviewing Retrospective Regulatory Review

    Research Description:

    I explore the historical intersections among law, business, politics, and policy in the modern United States, with a growing focus on the origins, evolution and impacts of the modern regulatory state. My research increasingly involves collaboration with historians and other social scientists who study regulatory governance in industrialized and industrializing societies. I have also started to work on an oral history project that examines regulatory policy-making.

    My first book, Navigating Failure: Bankruptcy and Commercial Society in Antebellum America (UNC Press, 2001), analyzed 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 Business Fraud: An American History, 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. The book is under advance contract with Princeton University Press, and I hope that it will be out in late 2015

    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. In 2015, a sole edited three-volume multidisciplinary research collection, Business Regulation, will be coming out with Edward Elgar.

    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/

    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. I am also now mentoring several graduate students in other social science disciplines.

    [last updated, 12/14]

    Representative Publications   (More Publications)

    1. E.J. Balleisen. "Business Fraud: An American History."  Princeton University Press (under advance contract), 2015
    2. E.J. Balleisen. "Business Regulation, 3 volumes."  Elgar, 2015 A three-volume multi-disciplinary research collection, compiling leading writing on business regulation since 1870, with an extensive introduction

    Curriculum Vitae

    Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

    • Anna Johns  
    • Arthur M. Fraas  
    • Fahad Bishara  

    Edward J. Balleisen