I teach political and legal theory and history at the University of Bologna. I was previously the Professor of Comparative Government and Law at the University of Oxford, Professor of Law at King's College London, and prior to that, Associate Professor of Government at Harvard University.


 My work has been an attempt to understand the function of law: how rules, particularly constitutions, affect social and political behaviour. To this end, I have conducted research on six continents, and have pubished this research in several languages. I have also served as an advisor to foreign governments and international organisations, including the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), and the Club of Madrid General Assembly. 


 Increasingly skeptical of what law can, and should, do to establish good governance and, more generally, the good life for all, I continue to think, write and talk about these issues, maintaining links with Oxford, Harvard, and the Institution Quraysh (London, Doha, Jedda). In addition to Bologna, I can sometimes be found at Wolfson College or Brasenose College, Oxford, where I continue to be a member of Common Room. 


I was born and raised on the west side of Chicago, educated in Evanston (Northwestern BA Economics and Politics, Honors), Seville, New York (Columbia University, MA, MPhil), Heidelberg (DAAD/Fulbright), Oxford (DPhil), and Santa Fe (SFI Summer School).