• Jefferson Decker
  • Jefferson Decker
  • Associate Professor
  • Office: Ruth Adams Building 024E
  • Phone: 932-5463
  • Click for Web Site
  •   pdf Decker CV (108 KB)

  • Office Hours:

    Wednesday 12:30-2:30, and by appointment

  • Specialties:

    American Politics, Public Law, Political History

  • Teaching:

    Courses for major credit in Political Science
    Law and Society
    Money and Modern America
    American Conservatism
    U.S. Life during the Cold War

    Courses in American Studies
    Introduction to American Studies
    Approaches to American Studies: Messing with Nature
    Decade in American Culture: the 1980s
    Junior Seminar in American Studies: Law, Courts and Justice in the United States

    Graduate Course in Political Science
    American Political Development

  • Publications:


    The Other Rights Revolution: Conservative Lawyers and the Remaking of American Government (Oxford University Press, 2016)


    “The Liberal’s Imagination: ‘The Problem of American Conservatism,’ Then and Now.” In David Greenberg, Moshik Temkin, and Mason Williams, eds., Alan Brinkley: A Life in History. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019.

    "Deregulation, Reagan-style," The Regulatory Review, March 13, 2019.

    "Pacific Views: Property Rights, the Regulatory State, and American Conservatism," Journal of Policy History 28, vol. 4 (2016): 654-679.

    "Running on Empty," The Nation Online (August 4, 2016)

    “Legal Conservatism,” entry in the Oxford University Encyclopedia of American Political, Policy, and Legal History, Donald T. Crichtlow and Philip R. VanderMeer, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2011)

    “Operation Rollback.” The Nation (October 5, 2009)

    “Lords of Misrule.” The Nation (October 27, 2008)

    “Politics as Usual: How Republicans Came to Rule the South.” Boston Review (May/June 2006)


    A Way Out: America’s Ghettos and the Legacy of Racism. Co-editor, with Joshua Cohen and Joel Rogers (Princeton University Press, 2003)

  • Research:

    Professor Decker specializes in U.S. political and legal history. His book The Other Rights Revolution: Conservative Lawyers and the Remaking of American Government was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. This book is the story of the non-profit, “public interest” lawyers of the American right. It describes how a network of policy-minded attorneys challenged the U.S. regulatory state in the name of property rights and economic freedom. And it shows how their efforts helped to change the size and shape of American government.

    At the moment, Professor Decker is writing a political and policy history of the 1982-2000 bull market in U.S. stocks, tentatively titled Bull: The Stock Market and the Politics of Financial Security, 1974-2005.