Michael McCann

Michael McCannMichael McCann is Gordon Hirabayashi Professor for the Advancement of Citizenship at the University of Washington. A former chair of the Political Science Department and Adjunct Professor in the Law School, he is the founding director of both the interdisciplinary Comparative Law and Society Studies (CLASS) Center and the undergraduate Law, Societies, and Justice program. McCann is the author of Taking Reform Seriously: Perspectives on Public Interest Liberalism (Cornell, 1986), Rights at Work: Pay Equity Reform and the Politics of Legal Mobilization (Chicago, 1994), and (with William Haltom) Distorting the Law: Politics, Media, and the Litigation Crisis (Chicago, 2004). The last two books together have won six major book awards from professional academic associations.

McCann is also: the principal co-editor of Judging the Constitution: Critical Essays on Judicial Lawmaking (Little, Brown, 1989), in which he authored two chapters; editor and lead author for Law and Social Movements (Dartmouth/Ashgate, 2006); and co-editor, with David Engel, of Fault Lines: Tort Law as Cultural Practice (Stanford). He has published over forty essays in Law & Society Review, Law and Social Inquiry, and other social science journals and law reviews as well as in edited books on numerous subjects, including: the politics of legal mobilization challenging racial, gender, and class discrimination; law and democratic social movements; how the U.S. Supreme Court matters; comparative analysis of constitutional courts; the politics of cause lawyering; “new property” rights and environmentalism; everyday disputing and legal resistance; studies of rights consciousness; the politics of tort reform; popular folklore and media coverage about civil litigation; the unlikely prospects for abolition of the death penalty in the U.S.; and contested conceptions of citizenship rights in a globalized world.

Among his present research are several article projects about “complex litigation” against U.S. manufacturers of tobacco, guns, and fast food as well as a book-length historical analysis of Filipino cannery workers’ inspired but ultimately tragic encounters with U.S. law and rights traditions from the 1930s through the 1980s. McCann teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses on law and society topics, for which he received a university-wide Distinguished Teaching Award in 1989. He was a Guggenheim Fellow for the 2007-8 academic year.




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