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staff name

Jeb Barnes

Professor of Political Science


phone: (213) 740-1689

office location: CPA 310


Public Law,Public Policy, American Politics, and Mixed-Method Research Strategies

Research and Practice Areas:

Professor Barnes’ studies the intersection between law, politics and public policy and mixed-method research strategies.

After graduating from the University of Chicago Law School and clerking for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, I practiced as a commercial litigator in Boston and San Francisco. In 1994, I left the practice of law to pursue a doctorate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley.

I joined the USC faculty in 2001, where I teach classes in law, American politics and public policy and have published numerous university-press books, edited volumes, and peer-reviewed articles on topics ranging from the asbestos crisis and litigation reform to disability rights and research methods. I have been invited to present at diverse professional and academic settings, including the Aspen Institute, the Institute of Medicine, the American Bar Foundation, the Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research at Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Public Policy, and UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Law and Society and Goldman School of Public Policy.

My current research analyzes bias in media coverage of litigation, lawyers’ ethical duties to confront misleading press accounts of the legal system and how the filing of lawsuits influences attitudes toward claimants and their underlying claims.

Honors and Awards

USC, ASHSS Award, 2006-2007

USC General Education Teaching Award, 2005-2006

USC Parent Association, Teaching and Mentoring Award, 2005-2006

USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, 2005-2006
Robert Wood Johnson Fellow, 2003

Selected Peer-Reviewed Articles

Jeb Barnes and Thomas F. Burke, “Untangling the Concept of Adversarial Legalism,” Annual Review of Law and Social Science (2020).

Jeb Barnes, “The Politics of Litigation,” Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Volume 79 (2019), 14716.

Jeb Barnes and Thomas F. Burke, “Layering, Kludgeocracy and Disability Rights: The Limited Influence of the Social Model in American Disability Policy,” Social Policy & Society (2018) 17:1, 101–116.

Jeb Barnes and Parker Hevron, “Framed? Assessing Whether Negative Episodic Coverage is a Risk of Judicialization,” Law & Social Inquiry 43(3): 1059-1091 (Summer 2018)

Jeb Barnes and Nicholas Weller, “Case Studies and Analytic Transparency in Causal-Oriented Mixed-Methods Research,” American Political Science Association, 2017.

Thomas F. Burke and Jeb Barnes, “Is There an Empirical Rights Literature?” Studies for Law, Politics & Society (2009) 48:69-91.
Jeb Barnes, “In Defense of Asbestos Litigation: Judicial Policy-Making in a World of Uncertainty, Second Bests and Shared Policy-Making Responsibilities” Law & Social Inquiry (2009) 34(1): 5-30.

Jeb Barnes, “Courts and the Puzzle of Institutional Stability and Change: Administrative Drift and Judicial Innovation in the Case of Asbestos” Political Research Quarterly (2008) 61(4):636-648.

Jeb Barnes, “Bringing the Courts Back In: Interbranch Perspectives on the Role of Courts in American Politics and Policy Making,” Annual Review of Political Science (2007) 10:25-43.

Jeb Barnes, “Rethinking the Landscape of Tort Reform: Lessons from the Asbestos Case,” Justice Systems Journal (2007) 28(2): 157-181.

Jeb Barnes and Thomas Burke, “The Diffusion of Rights: From Law on the Books to Organizational Practices,” Law & Society Review (2006) 40(3): 493-524.

Selected Book Chapters and Essays

Jeb Barnes, “Process Tracing and Legal Studies,” in Kapiszekski and Ingram, ed., Concepts, Data, and Methods in Comparative Law and Politics (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)

Nick Weller and Jeb Barnes, “Casual Pathway Analysis and Matching: A Practical Guide,” Handbook of Research Methods in International Relations (Elgar Press, forthcoming)

Jeb Barnes, “Adversarial Legalism as an American Policymaking Style,” in Howlett and Tosun, ed., Handbook of Policy Styles (Routlege Press, forthcoming)

Jeb Barnes, “Towards a New Legal Realism in Political Science: Pitfalls and Promises,” in Talesh, Klug and Mertz, ed., Research Handbook on Modern Legal Realism (Edward Elgar Press, forthcoming)

Jeb Barnes, Vaccine Court: The Law and Politics of Injury by Anna Kirkland, Perspectives on Politics 17(1): 263-265 (March 2019)

Thomas F. Burke and Jeb Barnes, “Introduction” and “The Politics of Legalism” in Burke and Barnes, ed., Varieties of Legal Order: The Politics of Adversarial and Bureaucratic Legalism (Routlege Press 2018)
Thomas F. Burke and

Jeb Barnes, “The Civil Rights Template and the Americans with Disabilities Act: A Socio-Legal Perspective on the Promise and Limits of Individual Rights,” in The Rights Revolution Revisited: Institutional Perspectives on the Role of Private Enforcement of Civil Rights in the U.S. (Cambridge University Press, 2018)

Jeb Barnes, “Adversarial Legalism, the Rise of Judicial Policy-Making, and the Separation of Powers Doctrine,” in Making Policy, Making Law: An Interbranch Perspective (Georgetown University Press 2004)

Jeb Barnes and Mark Miller, “Putting the Pieces Together: American Lawmaking from an Inter-Branch Perspective,” and —–. “Governance as Dialogue,” in Making Policy, Making Law, supra. (2004)

Jeb Barnes, “Bankrupt Bargain? Bankruptcy Reform and the Politics of Adversarial Legalism,” The Journal of Law & Politics (Fall 1997) XIII(4): 893-935