Kim Lane Scheppele

Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology
and International Affairs and the University
Center for Human Values.
Office Phone
118 Wallace Hall

Kim Lane Scheppele is the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. She is also a faculty fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Her primary field is the sociology of law and she specializes in ethnographic and archival research on courts and public institutions. She also works in sociological theory, comparative/historical sociology, political sociology, sociology of knowledge and human rights.  

Professor Scheppele’s research examines the rise and fall of constitutional government. After 1989, she moved to Eastern Europe, living in Hungary and Russia for extended periods, studying the way that new constitutions were being enacted and entrenched. After 9/11, she examined how constitutions fared under the stress of anti-terrorism campaigns with their repressive new laws, both in the United States and elsewhere. After the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, she has studied the way that democracies have come under stress, focusing on the rise of new autocrats, particularly those who are elected on populist political platforms and who then use the law to undermine constitutional institutions. Now, she concentrates in particular on changes within the European Union – exploring the way that the EU has had difficulty holding its own against national popular movements that brought about Brexit and the rise of illiberal autocracies among the member states. She has published widely in both social science and law journals, in both Europe and the US. She is a frequent commentator on the Verfassungsblog

Professor Scheppele’s work has been widely recognized. In 2014, she received the Kalven Prize from the Law and Society Association for scholarship that has had an important influence on the development of socio-legal studies, and in 2016, she was elected  to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also an elected member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and serves as a “global jurist” on the executive committee of the International Association of Constitutional LawShe served as the elected president of the Law and Society Association from 2017-2019. Her book, Legal Secrets, won Special Recognition in the Distinguished Scholarly Publication competition of the American Sociological Association as well as the Corwin Prize of the American Political Science Association.

Professor Scheppele taught for many years in the political science department at the University of Michigan before joining the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She was the founding co-director of the gender studies program at Central European University, Budapest and served as the director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton. She has been a visiting professor of law at Humboldt University, Berlin and Erasmus University, Rotterdam as well as at both Yale and Harvard Law Schools.

Selected Publications

Arianna Vedaschi and Kim Lane Scheppele (eds.),  9/11 and the Rise of Global Anti-Terrorism Law:  How the UN Security Council Rules the World (Cambridge University Press, July 2021). 

Kim Lane Scheppele, Dimitry Kochenov and Barbara Grabowska-Moroz, EU Values are Law, After All:  Enforcing EU Values through Systemic Infringement Actions by the European Commission and the Member States of the European Union, 29 Yearbook of European Law 3-121 (2021)

David Pozen and Kim Lane Scheppele, “Executive Underreach, in Pandemics and Otherwise,” With David Pozen.  American Journal of International Law, November 2020, preprint available here

Kriszta Kovács and Kim Lane Scheppele, “The Fragility of an Independent Judiciary:  Lessons from Hungary and Poland – and the European Union.”  51 Journal of Communist and Post-Communist Studies 189-200 (2018), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, “The Party’s Over.”  Pp. 495-515 in Mark Graber, Sanford Levinson and Mark Tushnet (eds.),Constitutional Democracy in Crisis?   Oxford University Press, 2018,  available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, “Autocratic Legalism.”  85 University of Chicago Law Review 545-583 (2018), available here.

Laurent Pech and Kim Lane Scheppele, “Illiberalism Within:  Rule of Law Backsliding in the European Union.”   Cambridge Yearbook of European Law (2017), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, “Enforcing the Basic Principles of EU Law through Systemic Infringement Procedures.”   In Dimitry Kochenov and Carlos Closa (eds.), Reinforcing the Rule of Law Oversight in the European Union (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Kim Lane Scheppele, “The Empire of Security and the Security of Empire.”  27 Temple Journal of Comparative and International Law 241-278 (2014), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, “The Rule of Law and the Frankenstate:  Why Governance Checklists Do Not Work.” 26 Governance 559-562 (2013), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, “The Empire’s New Laws:   Terrorism and the New Security Empire after 9/11.” Pp. 245-278 in George Steinmetz (ed.), Sociology and Empire.  (Duke University Press, 2013).

Miklós Bánkuti, Gábor Halmai and Kim Lane Scheppele, “Hungary’s Illiberal Turn:  Dismantling the Constitution.”  With 21(3) Journal of Democracy 138-145 (2012), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, “The New Judicial Deference.”  92 Boston University Law Review 89-170 (2012), available here

Kim Lane Scheppele, “The International Standardization of National Security Law.”  4 Journal of National Security Law and Policy 437-453 (2010), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, “Exceptions that Prove the Rule:   Embedding Emergency Government in Everyday Constitutional Life.”   Pp. 124-154 in Stephen Macedo and Jeff Tulis (eds.), The Limits of Constitutional Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2010), available here.  

Kim Lane Scheppele, “Guardians of the Constitution: Constitutional Court Presidents and the Struggle for the Rule of Law in Post-Soviet Europe.”  154 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1757-1851 (2006), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, “Small Emergencies.”  40 Georgia Law Review 835-862 (2006).

Kim Lane Scheppele, “Hypothetical Torture in the War on Terrorism.”  1 Journal of National Security Law and Policy 285-340 (2005), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, “’We Forgot About the Ditches:’ Russian Constitutional Impatience and the Challenge of Terrorism.”   53 Drake Law Review  963-1027 (2005), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, “Constitutional Ethnography:  An Introduction.”  38(3) Law and Society Review 389-406 (2004), available here.  

Kim Lane Scheppele, “A Realpolitik Defense of Social Rights.”   82(7) University of Texas Law Review 1921-1961 (2004), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, “Law in a Time of Emergency:   States of Exception and the Temptations of 9/11.”   6(5) University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 1001-1083 (2004), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, Aspirational and Aversive Constitutionalism: The Case for Studying Cross-Constitutional Influence through Negative Models.”  1(2) I-CON (International Journal of Constitutional Law) 296-324 (2003), available here

Kim Lane Scheppele, “When the Law Doesn’t Count:   The Rule of Law and Election 2000.” 149 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1361-1437 (2001), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, “The Inevitable Corruption of Transition.”  14 University of Connecticut Journal of International Law 509-532 (1999), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, "Manners of Imagining the Real." 19 Law and Social Inquiry 995-1022 (1994), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, “Law without Accidents.”  In Social Theory for a Changing Society.  Edited by Pierre Bourdieu and James S. Coleman (Westview Press, 1991), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, "Facing Facts in Legal Interpretation."  30 Representations 42-77 (1990), available here.

Kim Lane Scheppele, Legal Secrets:  Equality and Efficiency in the Common Law.  (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1988.)