My research lies at the intersection of comparative and international law and it contributes to a rich tradition of law and society scholarship examining global policy issues.  My academic joint appointment enables me to work in an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary environment, and I believe this type of collaboration and partnerships across disciplines and beyond the university are critical for solving the global problems facing us today.

My primary intellectual interests concern the effects of both domestic and international courts on rights and democratic governance.  At the core of my research interests, is a theoretical concern for processes of legal and social change and an empirical focus on the role of legal institutions and non-state actors (NGOs, interest groups, civil society) in this dynamic.  I have examined both domestic and global legal issues from environmental protection and sex discrimination to human rights and labor regulation.

I am a comparativist in training and remain dedicated to broadening the socio-legal field to include the theoretical and methodological insights of comparative institutional analysis to understand the complexity of law in a global age.  I conduct problem driven research and use multi-method approaches to examine real world legal problems.  Before entering the academy, I enjoyed time working in government at the state, federal and international levels and my concern for policy and legal solutions remains central to my research activities, including service to the Law and Social Sciences program at the National Science Foundation (NSF).  I am also committed to fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration, innovation and mainstreaming the study of international courts and legal mobilization.  Many of the key empirical and theoretical puzzles dominating the social sciences, legal studies, the humanities and policy studies  – democratization, constitutionalism and globalization, to name a few – are critically linked to complex processes of legalization involving state and non-state actors, international organizations and courts.

The following highlights my current book project and publications followed by works in progress.


Legal Mobilization and International Justice I am currently nearing completion of a multi-year research project examining the effects of international courts on domestic law and human rights and the role of interest and advocacy groups in this process.  The project is funded by an NSF grant (SES #1322161).  The project entails large n data collection, elite interviews, archival research and doctrinal analysis.  The database includes over 18,000 decisions of the European Court of Human Rights from 1960-2014 and stands to be the first cross-national, longitudinal and cross-sector data on interest and advocacy participation in international litigation.  Beyond basic data on case details and outcome, the dataset identifies interest and advocacy group participation as direct claimants, legal representation and amicus.  Importantly, the data also trace and identify the effects of this participation on judicial decision-making and human rights at the domestic and international level.  Along with these general patterns and effects, the book also includes in depth case studies in the areas of criminal justice, health and corporate litigation.


The European Court and Civil Society: Litigation, Mobilization and Governance (Cambridge University Press).  Recipient of the American Political Science Association’s, 2008 Best Book Award for the European Politics and Society Section.  Examines the European Court of Justice, transnational activists and the expansion of EU law in the areas of sex discrimination and environmental protection. Reviewed in Comparative Political Studies, APSA’s Perspectives on Politics, Law & Society Review, APSA’s Law & Politics Book Review, and Voluntas.  The project was funded by grants from the MacArthur Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the German Marshall Fund.


Law, Politics & Society (Oxford University Press) (with T. Börzel).  The volume provides a unique and interdisciplinary approach to studying the EU by bringing together both legal scholars and political scientists.  The theme of the volume provides a state of the EU while bringing European studies to the center of larger disciplinary debates.





Courts, Democracy and Governance.  Special Issue of Comparative Political Studies, 39 (1), 2006. (Editor).  This special issue includes articles that take the dynamic interaction between law, politics and society as a starting point to think critically about the evolving role of international courts in democratic governance.






  • 2013.  Mobilization, Litigation and Democratic Governance.  Representation: Journal of Representative Democracy, 49(3): 321-332.
  • 2013.  Judicial Politics, Gender and the Courts.  In G. Waylen, K. Celis, J. Kantola and L. Weldon, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Politics.  Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • 2013.  Legal Mobilization, Transnational Activism and Gender Equality in the EU. Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 28(2): 209-227.
  • 2013. Courts, Advocacy Groups and Human Rights in Europe. In A. Brysk, ed. The Politics of the Globalization of Law. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • 2011.  Civil Society and the European Court of Human Rights.  In M. Madsen and J. Christoffersen, eds. The European Court of Human Rights between Law and Politics.  Oxford, UK:  Oxford University Press.
  •  2010.   Women’s Rights and Supranational Constitutionalism. In J. Goldstein and R. Steinberg, eds., International Institutions.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. (reprint in International Relations series of “most influential and field defining articles”).
  • 2006.  Courts, Democracy and Governance.  Comparative Political Studies, 39: 3-21.
  • 2006. Courts, Rights and Democratic Participation.  Comparative Political Studies, 39: 50-75.
  • 2004. Women’s Rights, the European Courtand Supranational Constitutionalism. Law & Society Review, 38: 489-512.
  • 2004.  Sex Equality.  In A. Stone Sweet, The Judicial Construction of Europe.  Oxford: Oxford University Press. (with A. Stone Sweet).
  • 2003.  Participation, Representative Democracy and the Courts.  In R. Dalton, B. Cain and S. Scarrow, eds. New Forms of Democracy? Reform and Transformation of Democratic Institutions.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 192-220. (principal author, co-authored with A. Stone Sweet).
  • 2003.  Law, Politics and Society in Europe.  In T. Börzel and R. Cichowski, eds.State of the European Union:  Law, Politics and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-17. (lead author, co-authored with T. Börzel).
  • 2002. ‘No Discrimination Whatsoever:’ Women’s Transnational Activism and the Evolution of European Sex Equality Policy.  In N. Naplesand A. Desai, eds., Women’s Community Activism and Globalization. New York: Routledge, pp.220-238.
  • 2001.  Judicial Rulemaking and the Institutionalization of EU Sex Equality Policy.  In A. Stone Sweet, W. Sandholtz, and N. Fligstein eds., The Institutionalization of Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.113-136.
  • 2000.  Western Dreams, Eastern Realities:  Citizen Support for the European Union in Central and Eastern Europe.  Comparative Political Studies, 33: 1243-1278.
  • 2000. Gender and Policy in Comparative Perspective.  Women & Politics, Spring, 21(1): 107-115.
  • 1998.  Integrating the Environment: The European Courtand the Construction of Supranational Policy.  Journal of European Public Policy, 5: 387-405.


  • 2012.   Review of Eurolegalism: The Transformation of Law and Regulation in the European Union. (Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 2011) by R. D. Kelemen. Governance, 25(4): 713-716.
  • 2011.  Review of Women in Power in Post-Communist Parliaments.  (Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2009) by Marilyn Rueschemeyer and Sharon L. Wolchik, eds. Slavic Review, 69(4): 982-3.
  •  2007. Review of The Politics of Judicial Co-operation in the EU (Cambridge University Press, 2005) by Hans-W. Micklitz. Yearbook of European Law 2006, Volume 25: 655-659.
  •  2005. Review of Law and Governance in Postnational Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2005) by Michael Zürn and Christian Joerges.  EUSA Review, 18: 12-13.
  •  2002. Review of Establishing the Supremacy of European Law: The Making of an International Rule of Law in Europe (Oxford University Press, 2001) by Karen Alter.  Comparative Political Studies, 35: 1267-1270.


  • “Legal Mobilization, International Courts and Sexual Violence.” Under review at Law & Society Review.
  • “Combining Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches to the Study of International Courts.” Article manuscript in preparation for inclusion in journal special issue proposal, Data & Methods in the Comparative Study of Legal Institutions, edited by D. Kapiszewski, R. Sanchez-Urribarri and E. Voeten.
  • “How INGOs Lobby the European Judiciary and Human Rights in Times of Austerity.” Article manuscript in preparation for inclusion in a special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy entitled Evolution of the European Judicial and Fundamental Rights System in Times of Austerity, edited by G. Cliquennois, D. Chalmers and E. Lambert.
  • “Climate Change, Rights and International Courts.” Article manuscript in preparation for inclusion in collaborative project proposal, Climate Change and Socio-Legal Studies organized by S. Barclay and S. Sterett.