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Edward J. Balleisen, Associate Professor

Edward J. Balleisen
Contact Info:
Office Location:  243B Carr Building
Office Phone:  (919) 684-2699
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Fall 2014):

  • HISTORY 790S-07.01, POL/PUB LIFE/STATE (TOP) Synopsis
    Carr 229, Tu 10:05 AM-12:35 PM
Teaching (Spring 2015):

    Carr 103, TuTh 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
    (also cross-listed as ENVIRON 365D.001, POLSCI 340D.001, PUBPOL 219D.001)
    Languages 207, M 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
    (also cross-listed as ENVIRON 365D.01D, PUBPOL 219D.01D)
    Crowell 107, M 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
    (also cross-listed as ENVIRON 365D.02D, POLSCI 340D.02D, POLSCI 340D.03D, PUBPOL 219D.02D)

PhDYale University1995
M.PhilYale University1992
BAPrinceton University1987

Legal History
Politics, Public Life and Governance
Economic and Business Cultures
United States and Canada
Research Interests:

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]

Curriculum Vitae
Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Arthur M. Fraas  
  • Fahad Bishara  
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. E.J. Balleisen and D. Moss, eds., Government and Markets: Toward a New Theory of Regulation (New York: Cambridge UP, 2010) [available here]  [abs] [author's comments]
  2. Navigating Failure: Bankruptcy and Commercial Society in Antebellum America (March, 2001), University of North Carolina Press [book_detail]
  3. E.J. Balleisen, "Private Cops on the Fraud Beat: The Limits of American Business Self-Regulation, 1895-1932", Business History Review, vol. 83 no. Spring (2009), pp. 113-60 (This article won the Henrietta Larson Award for the year's business submission to the BUSINESS HISTORY REVIEW.) [papers.cfm]
  4. E.J. Balleisen and E.K. Brake, Historical Perspective and Better Regulatory Governance: An Institutional Agenda for Reform, Regulation & Governance (2012) (published online as early view, 12-12; doi:10.1111/rego.12000.) [abstract], [doi]  [abs]
  5. Scenes from a Corporate Makeover: Columbia/HCA and Heathcare Fraud, 1992-2001 (June, 2003), Fuqua School of Management, Duke University  [author's comments]
  6. E.J. Balleisen, Rights of Way, Red Flags, and Safety Valves: Regulated Business Self-Regulation in America, 1850-1940, in Regulierte Selbstregulierung in der westlichen Welt des späten 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhunderts / Regulated Self-Regulation in the Western World in the Late 19th and the Early 20th Century, edited by Peter Collin, Gerd Bender, Stefan Ruppert, Margrit Seckelmann, and Michael Stolleis , Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main (forthcoming in 2013.) [pdf]
  7. E.J. Balleisen, "The Prospects for Effective Co-Regulation in the United States: A Historian's View from the Early Twenty-First Century", in Government and Markets: Toward a New Theory of Regulation, ed. by E. Balleisen and D. Moss (2010), pp. 443-81, Cambridge UP
  8. E.J. Balleisen and M. Eisner, "The Promise and Pitfalls of Co-Regulation: How Governments Can Draw on Private Governance for Public Purpose", in New Pespectives on Regulation, edited by John Cisternino (2009), The Tobin Project [new-perspectives-regulation]
  9. E.J. Balleisen, "Building a Doctoral Program in Business History", in Teaching Business History: Insights and Ideas (2012), pp. 54-67 [17-2012-with-cover.pdf]
  10. E.J. Balleisen, Regulation, in The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History (2009), Oxford UP  [author's comments]
  11. E.J. Balleisen and Mitchell Fraas, Legal History on the Web (2006) [available here]  [abs]
Selected Other

  1. Convener, "Rethinking Regulation," Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar, 2010-13, Kenan Institute for Ethics [available here]    
  2. Founder and Co-Convener, Triangle Legal History Seminar, 2006 - present [available here]    
Selected Grant Support

  • Thomas McCraw Fellowship in United States Business History, Harvard University.      
  • Rethinking Regulation, Duke University Provost's Office.      
  • Rule of Law in World History, 2009-11, Teagle Foundation, Inc..      
  • Course Development Grant for Modern Regulatory State, Provost's Undergraduate Team-Teaching Initiative.      
  • Tobin Project Fellowship, 2007, The Tobin Project.      
  • Burckhardt Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies.      

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