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George Lovell

Professor and Chair of Political Science

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George Lovell (Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1997) is Professor and Interim Chair of Political Science and Professor of Law, Societies, and Justice at the University of Washington. He joined the faculty at UW in 2001. He studies legal processes, political institutions, American political development, and constitutional theory. Lovell’s research examines how law shapes the way people participate in political processes, the political sources of judicial power, and the ways law shapes labor unions and other social justice organizations.

He is the author of This is Not Civil Rights (University of Chicago Press, 2012), a study of public understandings of rights and Justice Department civil rights practices in the 1940's. His first book, Legislative Deferrals (Cambridge University Press, 2003), challenges conventional understandings of democratic controls on judicial power by showing how legislators use ambiguity to empower judges to resolve policy controversies. He is also a co-author (with Michael McCann) of Union by Law: Filipino Labor Activists, Rights Radicalism and Racial Capitalism (University of Chicago Press, 2020). Lovell has also published articles on the deployment of legal claims in everyday political encounters, 19th century state labor legislation, the Supreme Court's progressive era decisions on federal labor legislation, and legislative delegation to the executive branch.

Lovell served as Divisional Dean of Social Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences from 2017-2022. He was chair of Political Science from 2014-2017. Lovell was also Harry Bridges Endowed Chair in Labor Studies and Director of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies from 2011-2014.

Lovell teaches courses on American constitutional law, the U.S. Supreme Court, law and the politics of social change, law and society, and labor studies.

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