Congratulations to the 2018 Law and Society Association Award Winners!

The awards are presented at the International Meeting
in Toronto City on Thursday, June 7 at 1:30 pm.



Winners and Basis for Award

Harry J. Kalven, Jr. Prize 

For empirical scholarship that has contributed to the advancement of research in law and society.




Lauren B. Edelman

Lauren B. Edelman is the Agnes Roddy Robb Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining the Berkeley faculty in 1996, she was a member of the sociology and law faculties at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has served as secretary and president of the Law and Society Association, chaired the Sociology of Law section of the American Sociological Association, and was elected to the Sociological Research Association, an honorary society. In 2016, Edelman published a book called Working Law: Courts, Corporations, and Symbolic Civil Rights. This book caps a twenty-year body of empirical and theoretical scholarship that has substantially advanced the field of law and society. Her work has been integral to the founding of the subfield of law and organizations, and it has significantly shaped the subfields of law and professions, dispute resolution, and race and gender discrimination. By collecting original data and using meticulous qualitative and quantitative empirical methods, she has systematically developed and tested an innovative theoretical approach that she calls “legal endogeneity,” a theory of how law becomes infused with meaning and is shaped by the very social fields that it is meant to regulate. Edelman’s articles over the past twenty years have appeared regularly in the American Journal of Sociology and Law and Society Review. In addition to winning multiple awards for various articles published over the years and winning the LSA Stanton Wheeler Mentorship Award in 2016-17, her book Working Law is the winner of the 2018 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award from the American Sociological Association,the 2017 George R. Terry Book Award for Outstanding Contribution to Management Knowledge and the 2017 Distinguished Book Award in the Sociology of Law from the American Sociological Association.

J. Willard Hurst Prize 

For the best book in socio-legal history published in 2017.


Fahad Ahmad Bishara

A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean
Cambridge University Press 2017

The Hurst Prize Committee is pleased to award the 2018 Prize to Professor Farhad Bishara for A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780-1950

A Sea of Debt is a book that stands out because of its imagination and rigor, because of the immense grace of the writing, and because of its signal contribution to the study of law, of mobility, and of capital. All of us loved its brilliant conceptualization of the waraqqa (inadequately translated as the longstanding deeds that bound oceanic traders and their families together, but also an archive of documentary practice and of contractual conduct around and across the Indian Ocean). Sea of Debt is founded on heroic research in difficult archives and sites; it suggests relationships between religion and commerce that will inspire much new work; and it also moves across time as well as immense spaces. By the later pages of the book readers will have watched how longstanding oceanic trade practices have been shaped and disciplined by the legal understandings of the agents of the British Empire. It is an unmatched study of legal consciousness in physical and temporal motion. Quoting Bishara here, “[the waraqqa] formed a narrative device that allows us to move between South Arabia, East Africa, and India, and from the realm of politics to the realm of trade—all through the multivalent idiom of obligation, which at once invoked all of the economic, moral, legal, and social dimensions of commerce” (20).

Fahad Ahmad Bishara is an assistant professor of history at the University of Virginia. He received his PhD in history from Duke University in 2012, and subsequently held a fellowship at Harvard University's Joint Center for History and Economics and a position at the College of William and Mary. His research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of economic and legal history, primarily in the Indian Ocean, but also the Islamic world more broadly. He is currently working on broader questions surrounding how to write about broad questions of world/global history -- imperial encounters, international law, global capitalism, and more -- from the perspectives of an itinerant group of Arab sailors and sea captains who sailed around the Indian Ocean in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Herbert Jacob
Book Prize

For the best book in law and society scholarship published in 2017.


Daphna Hacker
Cambridge, UK

Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization
Cambridge University Press ; 2017

Daphna Hacker’s Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization is an exemplary work of law and society scholarship. It is ambitious, original, and timely. Hacker develops the concept of “bordered globalization” to analyze the intersection of borders and globalization in relation to law and families. She asks, what opportunities and challenges does globalization offer families and what is the role of law in shaping them? Rather than treat borders and globalization as either antagonistic or cooperative, Hacker sees them as engaged in a dynamic process of definition and redefinition, the classic socio-legal studies approach that sees borders and globalization as constitutive of one another. Using bordered globalization as the lens through which to exam a wide range of family legal issues, Hacker illustrates how families shape and are shaped by the legal rules that work both within and across borders. The timeliness of the book can hardly be overstated. From reproduction to spousal citizenship, to familial violence and old age care, Hacker confronts the multi-dimensional way in which globalization shapes familial relations and experiences. She argues that globalization cannot be fully understood without moving beyond the impact on individuals to consider the family unit, particularly since families are not equally situated with respect to their, or their country’s, place in the global hierarchy of inequalities.

The book’s ambition lies in the way the author engages the family in the context of a "bordered globalization," ultimately giving meaning to studying families and relational rights through broader frames than just the national, by also giving attention to the material limits of the global. It is original in its approach to the unit of study: families in a globalized yet bordered context. The world is truly globalizing, Hacker asserts, but borders remain important and range from national boundaries to internal restrictions on movement to cultural and constructed distinctions such as gender and religion; the result is what the author describes as bordered globalization. Families, although structured by conflicting conceptions derived from cultural norms and individual preferences, are extensively affected by the law’s functions of resolving disputes, guiding behavior and allocating resources.

The book is clearly and gracefully written. Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization is an outstanding contribution to socio-legal studies.

Daphna Hacker is an Associate Professor at the Tel Aviv University Law Faculty and Women and Gender Studies Program. She holds LL.B. and LL.M. degrees, as well as a PhD in Sociology. She researches and teaches with a focus on the intersection of law, families and gender. Her socio-legal studies provide empirical as well as normative insights in relation to singlehood and gender, post-divorce parental arrangements, inheritance conflicts, elder care, and transnational families. She is also a pioneer in teaching qualitative methods for advanced law students. She is the author of three books and of numerous articles published in leading legal and socio-legal journals. For her public and activist service on behalf of women, she has been given in 2013 the Katan Award for the Advancement of Gender Justice through Voluntary Work.




Alisha C. Holland
Cambridge, UK

Forbearance as Redistribution. The Politics of Informal Welfare in Latin America
Cambridge University Press, 2017

Alisha Holland’s Forbearance as Redistribution. The Politics of Informal Welfare in Latin America advances a truly innovative thesis and draws on an impressive array of original research. Holland argues that large numbers of people in developing nations who live and work outside the nation’s legal structure are doing so because politicians are adopting a conscious policing of forbearance to their extra-legal activities. That is, conventional wisdom largely assumes that non-enforcement by politicians is a function of state capacity, not political choice, particularly around property rights. Holland shows that this is not always the case. In fact, deliberate non-enforcement of some property laws – in this case squatting and street vending – can be a clear political decision, one that is calculated to keep the poor voting for local politicians who are in a position to ignore laws that would jeopardize the housing and economic opportunities for the poor.

The book focuses on two basic aspects of this extra-legal existence: housing and street vending, as it is manifested in the capital cities of three South American countries, Colombia, Peru and Chile. Holland argues that this policy of forbearance serves a redistributive function by providing positive benefits to the poor, namely cheap, tax-free housing and easily accessed employment. This decision is motivated by politicians who seek the votes of the poor, and its consequences are maintained by institutional momentum or path dependence. The author documents the various forms of the phenomenon itself (e.g., purchase of private, legally restricted land in Bogota, squatting on public land in Lima), describes the politics of the three cities, and analyzes a wide range of data that demonstrate the strength of her thesis.

Holland’s book illustrates how millions of people obtain housing and economic opportunity not through grand social welfare state policy, but through micro-level decisions of local politicians who face electoral accountability from the poor. The finding is powerful and counter-intuitive for many scholars who assume the poor have little political power and that property rights are the sine qua non of modern (western, democratizing/democratic) states. Moreover, the book has crucial implications for how legal scholars understand the uses (and non-uses) of law and is illustrative of a rich tradition of law and society scholarship that situates law in the micro decision-making of everyday politics.

Alisha C. Holland is Assistant Professor in the Politics Department at Princeton University. After receiving her Ph.D. in 2014, she joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow. Her research focuses on inequality, law enforcement, and urban politics in Latin America, and has appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, and Perspectives on Politics.

Honorable Mention

Amada Armenta, University of Pennsylvania for Protect, Serve, and Deport: The Rise of Policing as Immigration Enforcement.

Jeffrey R. Dudas, University of Connecticut for Raised Right: Fatherhood in Modern American Conservatism

John Hope Franklin

For the best article on race, racism and the law, published within last two years.


Angela Onwuachi-Willig
University of California at Berkeley

Policing the Boundaries of Whiteness: The Tragedy of Being ‘Out of Place’ from Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin

Nominated by Sarah A. Seo, University of Iowa

In Policing the Boundaries of Whiteness: The Tragedy of Being ‘Out of Place’ from Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin, Onwuachi-Willig juxtaposes the historical and contemporary killings of two black teenage boys, Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin, to explore the manner in which acts of extra-legal violence further a broader project of racial privilege and exclusion. Despite the significant racial progress that occurred between the Till and Martin murders, Onwuachi-Willig identifies important consistencies and continuities in the use of violence as racial boundary work, thereby powerfully situating America’s present racial inequities in the context of the country’s deplorable racial past. In doing so, Onwuachi-Willig deftly incorporates historical, sociological, political, and legal scholarship, and addresses issues of class and gender.

Ambitious, provocative, well written, and theoretically rich, this paper makes a clear and important contribution to the scholarly literature.

A graduate of Grinnell College (B.A.), the University of Michigan Law School (J.D.), and Yale University (Ph.D.), Angela Onwuachi-Willig is Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and the 2017-2018 William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law at the American Bar Foundation . Her research explores issues of race, gender, class, and antidiscrimination law and family law. She is author of According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family (Yale 2013) and numerous articles, appearing in leading law journals like the Yale Law Journal, California Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, and Georgetown Law Journal. She has received both the AALS Clyde Ferguson and Derrick Bell, Jr. Awards and is an elected member of the ALI.

Law and Society
Article Prize

For exceptional scholarship in socio-legal studies published as an article.


Sarah Brayne

Big Data Surveillance: The Case of Policing,
American Sociological Review, 2017, Vol. 82(5) 977–1008

Nominated by Forrest Stuart, Sociology, University of Chicago

This remarkable article assesses how new developments in policing and surveillance in Los Angeles have transformed as a result of the adoption of big data analytics. Based on remarkable access to the Los Angeles Police Department, including 75 interviews and 18 months of ethnography, Sarah Brayne provides a closely-observed empirical account of how the new software-generated monitoring information actually affects daily law enforcement. Her findings are that the police’s use of big data amplifies prior surveillance techniques, quantifies previously intuitive evaluations of risk, extends surveillance to individuals who have not previously had police contact and extends surveillance into a much broader range of private and public institutions. Additionally, big data is used for predictive rather than explanatory ends, changing the way that risk is evaluated. While the implications for privacy, due process and the enhancing of social inequality are significant and chilling, Brayne is careful not to overstate the consequences of the LAPD’s increasing reliance big data analytics. This research exemplifies the best attributes of empirical law and society scholarship and is fully deserving of the Law and Society Association’s Article Prize for 2018.

Sarah Brayne is an assistant professor of sociology and faculty research associate at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. In her research, Brayne uses qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the use of big data within the criminal justice system. Her work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, and she is currently writing a book on police use of predictive analytics and surveillance technologies. Prior to joining the faculty at UT-Austin, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research New England and taught college classes in state prisons in New Jersey. She received her PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Princeton University.


Honorable Mention

Hidetaka Hirota, “Exclusion on the Ground: Racism, Official Discretion, and the Quotidian Enforcement of General Immigration Law in the Pacific Northwest Borderland,” 2017, American Quarterly, Volume 69, Number 2, June 2017, pp. 347-370.

Hidetaka Hirota is a Substitute Assistant Professor of History at the City University of New York-City College. He is the author of Expelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States and the Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy (Oxford University Press), which won the First Book Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. His other publications have appeared in the Journal of American History, American Quarterly, and the Journal of American Ethnic History. s

Law and Society
International Prize

For significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the field of law and society.


Fiona Haines
University of Melbourne

The Committee recommends that the Prize be awarded to Professor Fiona Haines in recognition of her extensive body of scholarly work in the fields of regulation, corporate crime, disasters, and climate change with particular attention to its international focus and import.

Professor Haines is a very distinguished, accomplished, generous and productive scholar as well as a mentor, and active citizen in law and society. One of her referees notes: ‘Professor Haines is a leading voice, if not ‘the’ leading voice in regulatory studies. … Her work is theoretically rich, methodologically meticulous and, importantly, always attentive to the global context in which it is situated’. Another concludes: ‘Professor Haines transcends the scholarship on disaster that would argue that state regulation is often symbolic with little will behind it to actually address problems. She explains how and where law includes both instrumental and symbolic elements, and also explains that actors can take what might have seemed to be ineffectual elements in the law and mobilize symbolism to make law more effective’.

The Committee agreed that these are compelling testaments to Professor Fiona Haines many distinguished achievements in the advancement of knowledge in the field of law and society.

Fiona Haines is Professor of Criminology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Adjunct Professor at the Regulatory Institutions Network at ANU and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. Her research, which encompasses work on industrial disasters, grievances and multinational enterprises, centres on white collar and corporate crime, globalisation and regulation.

Stanton Wheeler
Mentorship Award

As an outstanding mentor for graduate, professional or undergraduate students who are working on issues of law and society.


Robert Gordon
Stanford University

Robert Gordon, a pillar in the field of legal history, “has guided, supported, and inspired several generations of legal historians,” so many that “nearly everyone in the field of legal history in the U.S., and many outside the U.S., has been mentored by Bob in some way.” As one mentee put it, you would be hard-pressed “to find any significant legal historian younger than fifty who does not claim some intellectual genealogical connection to Bob.” Mentees described Gordon’s generosity in time, energy, and intellect given to them throughout their careers, from early law students to fully-established faculty. Many described “critically important” mentoring lessons they learned from Robert Gordon that they carry with them as they mentor their own students and colleagues, such as: “One of the [lessons] is to always find the best thing in a paper or an article or a book and to focus on that. All work is flawed. That goes without saying. What we can learn from is the good stuff in, and most serious work in the history of the law has some spark of genius, or some bit of material that adds important insights into one or another important legal-historical question.” In addition, Gordon is an “influential and widely respected” legal historian who has made “lasting contributions” to the Law & Society community. He has served as President of the ASLH, Trustee for LSA, twice served as chair of the Hurst Prize Committee, and has co-directed the Hurst Summer Institute for Legal History. “Whatever the venue or endeavor,” one of his nominees writes, “Bob invariably energizes everyone in the room with his infectious curiosity about legal ideas, institutions, and practices and his utterly unique way of engaging with the work of scholars across fields and at every career stage.”



Laura Beth Nielsen
American Bar Foundation/Northwestern U

Laura Beth Nielsen has an exemplary record of mentorship at Northwestern University, the American Bar Foundation, and within the broader Law & Society community. One nominator aptly described her as “a world class mentor and institution-builder” whose mentorship has especially benefited scholars from underrepresented groups. At Northwestern, Nielsen directs the vibrant Center for Legal Studies, where she involves both undergraduate and graduate students in research projects (including as co-authors), and provides mentorship and support that has propelled her students to prestigious PhD programs and teaching positions. Additionally, Laura Beth was a driving force behind the doctoral fellowship program jointly funded by LSA, the ABF, and the National Science Foundation. Through her visionary leadership, strategic management, and individualized mentoring, the program successfully nurtured 18 doctoral fellows – this, in addition to 15 supported by a separate ABF doctoral fellowship, also administered by Nielsen. Several nominators wrote eloquently about the deep personal concern that she exhibits towards her mentees. In the words of one colleague, “Laura Beth has been a person to whom [students] can turn in difficult times, doing the really critical but necessarily invisible emotional work of mentoring.” Nielsen’s nominators raved about her infectious enthusiasm for empirical research, her encouragement of independent thinking, and her ability to help students achieve both theoretical rigor and on-the-ground impact. One nominator summarized the many dimensions of Laura Beth’s mentorship as follows: “Laura Beth is big hearted, easily approachable, and very smart. She gives great advice. She treats me with trust and respect. She is kind. She engages my work in a way that is honest without being mean, that pushes me and inspires.”

Laura Beth Nielsen is Professor of Sociology and Director of Legal Studies at Northwestern University and Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation. A scholar of civil and constitutional rights, mobilization, and inequality, she studies how ordinary people understand and use the law (legal consciousness) and the relationship between law and inequalities of race, gender, and class.

Her primary field is the sociology of law, with particular interests in legal consciousness (how ordinary people understand the law) and the relationship between law and inequalities of race, gender, and class. Her most recent monograph, Rights on Trial: How Employment Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality (Chicago, 2017) examines the litigation system of employment civil rights in the United States. Her first monograph, License to Harass: Law, Hierarchy, and Offensive Public Speech, (Princeton University Press, 2004) studies racist and sexist street speech, targets’ reactions and responses to it, and attitudes about using law to deal with such speech. She has participated in Congressional briefings about federal hate crime legislation and the role of speech in hate crime.

In addition, she is the author of numerous articles published in the UCLA Law Review, Law and Society Review, Law and Social Inquiry, Law and Policy, Stanford Journal of Law and Policy, and the Wisconsin Law Review. Nielsen’s scholarship has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the American Bar Foundation as well as having been covered by the New York Times, National Public Radio, the Nation, the Wall Street Journal, and Time. She co-authored the American Sociological Association’s amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in Dukes v Walmart, and has testified in Congressional briefings on hate crimes and hate speech.

Ronald Pipkin
Service Award

For sustained and extraordinary service to the Association.


Susan M. Olson

Please click here, to read a full citation given by four of our previous elected presidents of LSA.


For the dissertation that best represents outstanding work in law and society research in 2017.


Amanda Hughett
Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy, SUNY-Buffalo

Silencing the Cell Block: The Making of Modern Prison Policy in North Carolina and the Nation

Hughett's dissertation "Silencing the Cell Block: The Making of Modern Prison Policy in North Carolina and the Nation" has a wonderful manner of examining and writing about historical sources. Reading “Silencing the Cell Block” is to have history come alive. The chapters are beautifully titled and there is a storytelling element in her writing despite the gravity of the legal analysis included in the chapters. Hughett intricately interweaves law into the narrative, exemplifying how masterfully a law and society work may engage law’s myriad impacts. She draws the reader in immediately by providing a twist on the rights litigation literature. Showing the irony behind constitutionalism, Hughett demonstrates how it subverts true prisoners’ rights reforms. Hughett’s historical and legal archival research is expansive and impressive, including sources ranging from state reports from the 1890s to prisoner civil rights cases spanning over a century to letters from activists and attorneys in the critical decades of the 1970s-1990s to personal interviews. Hughett is an extraordinary legal historian, clearly documenting change over time in the field of prisoner rights with painstaking archival research while simultaneously providing an original reading of the impact of such well-intentioned legal advocacy as actually limiting activists seeking more substantive change within prisons. Hughett takes a critical but sympathetic lens on the minutely administrative forms of legal redress that may otherwise be easy to see as straightforward victories, and highlights the secondary silencing impacts on more radical prisoner movements that were attempting to emerge at the same time. This work incisively exposes the contradictions in rights work. This dissertation makes an immediate and important contribution to the field.

Amanda Bell Hughett is a postdoctoral fellow at SUNY-Buffalo’s Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy. She holds a PhD in history (2017) from Duke University and a BA in history and women’s studies from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. From 2015 to 2017, she was a LSA/ABF/NSF Law and Social Sciences Dissertation Fellow at the American Bar Foundation. Her work has been supported by the Law and Society Association, the American Bar Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Duke University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, SUNY-Buffalo, the American Society for Legal History, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, and the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library.

Student Paper Prize

For the undergraduate paper that best represents outstanding work in law and society research.


J. Y. Chua

The Strange Career of Gross Indecency: Racial Anxiety and Sexual Politics in Pre-World War II Singapore

The winner of the undergraduate paper competition was Jun Yan Chua, for his paper “The Strange Career of Gross Indecency: Racial Anxiety and Sexual Politics in Pre-World War II Singapore." This paper, nominated by Professor Rohit De, analyzes the criminal charge of gross indecency in Singapore in the early 20th century. Yan analyzed both English- and Chinese-language archival records to discover racialized strategies deployed by prosecutors and defense attorneys, demonstrating that the prohibition of gross indecency was founded on concerns over inter-racial intercourse. This intriguing paper challenges current concepts of homophobia in English and Chinese societies and fills a void in research on the criminalization of gross indecency.

J.Y. Chua is a history major in Yale College. His academic interests lie in the intersection of law and social regulation in the former British Empire. Outside the classroom, he enjoys reading, running, and watching re-runs of legal procedurals and political drams.

Honorable Mentions

Alexandria Ku’s paper “Stereotyping and the Limits of Title VII."

Alexandria is currently a first-year student at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Last year, she wrote a thesis that explored the limitations of Title VII and the barriers that female leaders face in the workplace. Her project would not have been possible without the help of her adviser, Dr. Catherine Albiston.

Graduate Student
Paper Prize

For the graduate paper that best represents outstanding work in law and society research.


Ayobami Laniyonu

Coffee Shops and Street Stops: Policing Practices in Gentrifying Neighborhoods

For the Graduate Student Paper Prize, the committee chose Ayobami Laniyonu’s article, “Coffee Shops and Street Stops: Policing Practices in Gentrifying Neighborhoods" as the winner. This article explores the effect of gentrification and neighborhood change on policing patterns. Ayobami approaches the challenging topic of spatial implications of the postindustrial policing hypothesis. Analyzing recently released quantitative data from New York City, Ayobami tests the implications of the extant research, finding a strong and positive association between gentrification and Stop-and-Frisk police stops. His article emphasizes the importance of spatial dimensions in the analysis of urban policing. Ayobami’s work was nominated by Professor Mona Lynch.

Ayobami Laniyonu is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the American Bar Foundation, and the Law and Society Association, and explores the impact of the criminal justice system on political behavior and the impact of urban revitalization on policing practices. He is currently a research scientist at the Center for Policing Equity and has accepted a position with Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto.


Honorable Mention

Melissa Barragan’s paper “Guns and Injustice: Examining Gun Offender Perceptions of Gun Law and Gun Policing in Los Angeles."

Melissa Barragan is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine. Her research broadly focuses on issues of policing, punishment and gun violence within the United States. Melissa’s dissertation specifically examines local explanations and responses to gun violence in the cities of Richmond and San Bernardino, California.