Leo Spitz Professor of Law, University of Chicago

Director, The Comparative Constitutions Project 

Tom Ginsburg

Accepted and Published Articles 

Tom's articles may be found online at SSRN, academia.edu, bepress, ResearchGate, and Chicago Unbound

Constitutional Interpretation in Law-Making: China's Invisible Constitutional Enforcement Mechanism, American Journal of Comparative Law (forthcoming 2015) (with Yan Lin).


The Teaching/ Research Trade-Off in Law: Data From the Right Tail, 39(1) Evaluation Review 46-81 (2015) (with Thomas J. Miles).

[Dis-]Informing the People's Discretion: Judicial Deference Under the National Security Exemption of the Freedom of Information Act, 66(4) Administrative Law Review 725-284 (2015) (with Susan Nevelow Mart).


Fordelene Ved Evolusjon I En Revolusjonær Tidsalder: Norges varige grunnlov I et komparativt perspektiv, 31 Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift 3: 225-237 (2014).

Does the Constitutional Amendment Rule Matter at All? Amendment Cultures and the Challenges of Measuring Amendment Difficulty, Coase-Sandor Working Paper Series in Law and Economics, No. 682 (2014); Public Law & Legal Theory Working Papers, No. 472 (2014).

We the Peoples: The Global Origins of Constitutional Preambles, 46 George Washington International Law Review ​305-340 (2014) (with Daniel Rockmore and Nicholas Foti) (translated into Spanish in Revista del Cultura Politica). 

Constitutional Islamization and Human Rights: The Surprising Origin and Spread of Islamic Supremacy in Constitutions, 54 Virginia Journal of International Law 3: 615-695 (2014) (with Dawood Ahmed).

What Can Constitutions Do?: The Afghan Case, 24 Journal of Democracy 116 (2014).

Chaining the Dogs of War: Comparative Data, Chicago Journal of International Law 15: 138-62 (2014).

Fruit of the Poisoned Vine? Some Comparative Observations on Chile’s Constitution, Centro de Estudios Politicos (in Spanish).
 
Libertarian Paternalism, Path Dependence, and Temporary Law, 81 University of Chicago Law Review 291-359 (2014) (with Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams).

Judicial Roles in Nonjudicial Functions, 12 Wash. U. Global Studies L. Rev. 755-82 (2013) (with Nuno Garoupa).

Why Do Countries Adopt Constitutional Review? Journal of Law, Economics and Organization (2013); doi: 10.1093/jleo/ewt008 (with Mila Versteeg).

Beyond Presidentialism and Parliamentarism, British J. Political Science (2013) (with Jose Cheibub and Zachary Elkins)

The South African Constitutional Court and Socio-economic Rights as ‘Insurance Swaps’, 11 South Africa Constitutional Court Review 1 (2011), reprinted in Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics Working PAper, No. 650 (2013) & reprinted in Public Law & Legal Theory Working Papers, No. 436 (2013).  

When to Overthrow your Government: The Right to Resist in the World’s Constitutions, 60 UCLA Law Review 1184-1260 (2013) (with Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez and Mila Versteeg).

Getting to Rights: Treaty Ratification, Constitutional Convergence, and Human Rights Practice, 51(4) Harvard Journal of International Law 201-34 (2013), followed by online symposium response Getting to the Right Answers on Rights (http://opiniojuris.org/2013/03/06/hilj-symposium-getting-to-the-right-answers-about-rights/) (with Zachary Elkins and Beth Simmons).


Comments on Law And Versteeg’s the Declining Influence of the United States Constitution, 87 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 2088 (2012) (with Zachary Elkins and James Melton)

Constitutionalism: East Asian Antecedents, 88 Chi-Kent L. Rev. 11-33 (2012).

On the Interpretability of Law: Lessons from the Decoding of National Constitutions, British J. Political Science (2012) (with James Melton, Zachary Elkins and Kalev Leetaru).

Courts and Democracies: A Review Essay, 37 Law and Social Inquiry 720-42 (2012).

The Empirical Turn in International Legal Scholarship, 106 American Journal of International Law 1-46 (2012) (with Gregory Shaffer).

Lawrence M. Friedman’s Comparative Law, with Notes on Japan, 5:2 Journal of Comparative Law 92-103 (2010, appearing 2012), reprinted in Using Legal Culture, David Nelken, ed., Wiley, Simmonds and Hill, 2012).

An Economic Analysis of the Pashtunwali, U. Chicago Legal Forum 89 (2011).

Building Reputation In Constitutional Courts: Political And Judicial Audiences, 28 Arizona J. Int’l and Comp. L 539-68 (2011) (with Nuno Garoupa).

Deciding Not to Decide: Deferral in Constitutional Design, 9 I-Con: International Journal of Constitutional Law 636-72 (2012) (with Rosalind Dixon).

Hybrid Judicial Career Structures: Reputation vs. Legal Tradition 3 J. Legal Analysis 1-38 (2012) (with Nuno Garoupa).


Pitfalls of Measuring the Rule of Law, 3 Hague J. Rule of Law 269-80 (2011).

Empiricism and the Rising Incidence of Co-authorship in Law, 2011 U. Ill. L. Rev. 101-41 (2011) (with Thomas Miles).

Latin American Presidentialism in Comparative and Historical Perspective, 89 Texas L. Rev. 1707-31 (2011) (with Jose Cheibub and Zachary Elkins).

Reputation, Information and the Organization of the Judiciary, 4:2 Journal of Comparative Law 226-54 (2011) (with Nuno Garoupa).

On the Evasion of Executive Term Limits, 52 Wm and Mary L. Rev. 1807-72 (2011) (with James Melton and Zachary Elkins).

The Politics of Constitutional Courts: Four Moments in Asia, Proceedings of Thammasat University Conference on Law in a Changing World, 2011.

Eastphalia and East Asian Regionalism, 44 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 859-77 (2010).

Subconstitutionalism, 62 Stanford L. Rev. 1583 (2010) (with Eric Posner).

National Courts, Domestic Democracy, and the Evolution of International Law: A Reply to Eyal Benvenisti and George Downs , 20:4 European Journal of International Law 1021-26 (2010).

Studying Japanese Law Because it’s There, 58 American Journal of Comparative Law 15-25  (2010).


The Arbitrator as Agent: Why Deferential Review is not Always Pro-Arbitration, 77 U. Chicago L. Rev. 1013-26 (2010) [translated into Chinese and published in 123 Arbitration and Law 86-103, CIETAC, 2012).

Eastphalia as a Return to Westphalia, 17 Indiana J. Global Leg. Studies 27-45 (2010).

Judicial Audiences and Reputation: Perspectives from Comparative Law 47 Colum. J. Transnat’l L. 451-90 (2009) (with Nuno Garoupa).

The Relationship between Constitutional and International Devices to Protect Minority Rights, Journal of the Center for Minority Studies, Kansai University (2009).

Ancillary Powers of Constitutional Courts, 87(7) Texas L. Rev.1432-61 (2009) (with Zachary Elkins).

Does the Process of Constitution-Making Matter? in 5 Annual Review of Law and Social Science 201-24 (2009) (with Zachary Elkins and Justin Blount).

Guarding the Guardians: Judicial Councils and Judicial Independence, 57 American Journal of Comparative Law 201-32 (2009) (with Nuno Garoupa).

International Delegation and State Disaggregation, 20(3) Constitutional Political Economy 323-40 (2009).

The Clash of Commitments at the International Criminal Court, 9 Chicago Journal of International Law 499-514  (2009).

Citizen as Founder: Public Participation in Constitutional Approval, 81 Temple U. L. Rev. 361-82 (2008) (with Justin Blount and Zachary Elkins) (published in Spanish in 1 Rivista Latinoamerica de Politica Comparada 119-53 (2008).

Military Occupations and their Constitutional Residue, 19-2 APSA-CP Newsletter, 7-10 (2008).

The Comparative Law and Economics of Judicial Councils, 27(1) Berkeley Journal of International Law 53-83 (2008) (with Nuno Garoupa).


Symposium Introduction: Public International Law and Economics 2008 U. Ill. L. Rev. 101-37 (2008) (with Anne van Aaken and Christoph Engel).

Commitment and Diffusion: Why Constitutions Incorporate International Law, 2008 U. Ill. L. Rev. 201-38 (2008) (with Svitlana Chernykh and Zachary Elkins).

Baghdad, Tokyo, Kabul: Constitution-making in Occupied States 49 William and Mary Law Review 1139-78 (2008) (with Zachary Elkins and James Melton).

Lessons for Democratic Transitions: Case Studies from Asia, Orbis (Dec. 2007).

Odious Debt and Democratization, 70 Law and Contemporary Problems 115-36 (2007) (with Thomas Ulen).

Irrational War and Constitutional Design: A Reply to Professors Nzelibe and Yoo, 27 Mich. J. Int’l L. 1239-59 (2006) (with Paul Diehl), excerpted in Thomas M. Franck, Michael J. Glennon and Sean Murphy, Foreign Relations and National Security Law (3rd edition).

Locking in Democracy: Constitutions, Commitment and International Law, 38 NYU J. Int’l L. and Politics 707-59 (2006).

Takao Tanase, Japanese Litigiousness and “Taking Kawashima Seriously,” Proceedings from the 2005 Sho Sato Conference in Honor of Takao Tanase, available  at http://www.law.berkeley.edu/centers/ilr/pub_sho_sato_2005/ (2006).

The Unreluctant Litigant? Japan’s Turn Toward Litigation, 35 Journal of Legal Studies 31-62 (2006) (with Glenn Hoetker), excerpted in The Japanese Legal System, edited by Curtis Milhaupt, Mark Ramseyer and Mark West (2006), reprinted in Emerging Concepts of Rights in Japanese Law (Laurent Mayali and Harry Scheiber, eds., Berkeley, 2007).

Constitutional Engineering in Taiwan: The Implications of Global Trends, Taiwan Law Society (2005).

The State of Sovereignty in Southeast Asia, 99 American Society of International Law Proceedings 419 (2005).

Bounded Discretion in International Judicial Lawmaking, 45 Virginia Journal of International Law 631-73 (2005).

International Substitutes for Domestic Institutions, 25 International Review of Law and Economics 107 (2005).

Adjudicating in Anarchy: An Expressive Theory of International Dispute Resolution 45 William and Mary Law Review 1229 (2004) (with Richard McAdams).

The Market for Entry-Level Associates, 31 Florida State Law Review 909 (2004) (with Jeffrey A Wolf).

Transforming Legal Education in Japan and Korea, 22 Pennsylvania State International Law Review 433 (2004).

The Culture of Arbitration, 36 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 1335 (2003).


Confucian Constitutionalism? Globalization and Judicial Review in Korea and Taiwan, 27:4 Law and Social Inquiry 763-800 (2002).

Comparative Administrative Procedure: Evidence from Northeast Asia, 13:3 Constitutional Political Economy 247-64 (2002).

Constitutional Courts in New Democracies: Understanding Variation in East Asia, 2:1 Global Jurist Advances, Article 4, available at http://www.bepress.com/gj/advances/vol2/iss1/art4 (2002).

Economic Analysis and the Design of Constitutional Courts, 3 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 49 (Jan. 2002) (translated into Rumanian and published in Cluj, 2004).

Dismantling the Developmental State? Administrative Procedure Reform in Japan and Korea, 49 American Journal of Comparative Law 585 (Fall 2001).

When Courts and Politics Collide: Mongolia’s Constitutional Crisis, 14 Columbia Journal of Asian Law 309 (Spring 2001) (with G. Ganzorig), reprinted in Public Law in East Asia (Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2013).

Evidentiary Privileges in International Arbitration, 50 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 345 (April 2001) (with Richard M. Mosk).

Does Law Matter for Economic Development? Evidence from East Asia (Review ), 34: 3 Law and Society Review 829-56 (2000) (in Chinese).

Dissents in International Arbitration in Liber Amicorum Bengt Broms (Helsinki: Finnish International Law Association, 1999) (with Richard M. Mosk).

Comparing Judicial Discretion: An Empirical Test of Economic Models, 16 International Review of Law and Economics 295 (1996) (with Robert Cooter), reprinted in Constitutional Political Economy (Stefan Voigt, ed., 2003).

Between Russia and China: Political Reform in Mongolia, 35 Asian Survey 459 (1995).

The Transformation of Legal Institutions in Mongolia 1990-1993, 12 Issues & Studies: A Journal of Chinese and International Affairs 77 (1994).

Buddhism and Revolution in Southeast Asia, Undergraduate Journal of Asian Studies (1989).