Lisa L. Miller
Lisa L. Miller
401 Hickman Hall
Crime and Punishment
Mass Incarceration
Racial Inequality
American Political Institutions

Professor Miller’s research interests are in violent crime/criminal justice, racial inequality, democratic accountability, constitutions, and social policy. She has written three books: The Myth of Mob Rule: Violent Crime and Democratic Politics (Oxford University Press, 2016), The Perils of Federalism: Race, Poverty and the Politics of Crime Control (OUP, 2008) and the Politics of Community Crime Prevention (Dartmouth, 2001). Her work has appeared in Law and Society Review, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Race and Ethnic Politics, Policy Studies Journal, Annual Review of Law and Social Science, among others. She has written extensively about the structure of American politics, its relationship to political mobilization and social outcomes, particularly with respect to crime and punishment. Her more recent work is focused on the structure of the American constitutional system and its implications for democratic accountability. Professor Miller has served as a Visiting Professor and Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford, and as a Visiting Scholar at the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University.  She is currently working on two book projects, one on U.S. constitutional myths, and the other on the political origins of lethal violence in the Americas.

Professor Miller earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Washington and her B.A. in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia. She joined the faculty at Rutgers in 2004, and is currently the faculty director for the Lloyd C. Gardner Fellowship in Leadership and Social Policy.

Professor Miller's most recent book is The Myth of Mob Rule: Violent Crime and Democratic Politics (Oxford University Press, 2016), a cross-national comparison of crime as a political issue.

Her previous book, The Perils of Federalism: Race, Poverty and the Politics of Crime Control (Oxford University Press, 2008) explored the relationship between the peculiar style of American federalism and the substantial inequalities in criminal victimization and punishment across racial groups in the U.S. 


Selected articles include:

  • 2021. “Racialized Anti-Statism and the Failure of the American State.” The Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics 6(1): 120-143.

    2020 “American Exceptionalism or Exceptionalism of the Americas? The Politics of Lethal Violence, Punishment and Inequality.” In Lacey, Nicola, David Soskice, Leonidas K. Cheliotis, Sap-pho Xenakis, eds., Tracing the Relationship Between Inequality, Crime and Punishment: Space, Time, and Politics. London: The British Academy, Oxford University Press.

    2018. “The Use of Case Studies in Law and Social Science.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 14: 381-396.

  • 2015. "What's Violence Got To Do With It? Inequality, race and state failure in American politics." Punishment and Society 17(2): 184-210.

  • 2014. “The (Dys)Functions of American Federalism.” Tulsa Law Review. Forthcoming

  • 2013. “Power to the People: Violent Victimization, Inequality and Democratic Politics.” Theoretical Criminology 17(3): 283-313.

  • 2011. “The Local and the Legal: American federalism and its implications for the carceral state.” Special Issue of Criminology and Public Policy: Mass Incarceration 10(3): 725-732.

  • 2010. “The Invisible Black Victim: How American Federalism Perpetuates Racial Inequality in Criminal Justice.”  Law and Society Review 44 (3/4): 805-842.

  • 2007. Miller, Lisa L. "The Representational Biases of Federalism: scope and bias in the political process revisited." Perspectives on Politics 5(2): 305-321.

  • 2005. Miller, Lisa L. and Jim Eisenstein. "The Federal/state criminal prosecution nexus: a case study in cooperation and discretion." Law and Social Inquiry 30(2): 239-268.

  • 2004. Miller, Lisa L. "Rethinking bureaucrats in the policy process: criminal justice agents and the national crime agenda. Policy Studies Journal 32(4): 569-588.

American Politics

 Public Law

Race & Ethnic Politics

790:106: Law and Politics

790:401: Constitutional Law

202:490: Explaining Mass Incarceration

790:600: Research Design