10/09/17 Colloquium Series - Margaret Levi: “Conflict, Institutions, and Public Law: Reflections on Twentieth-Century America as a Developing Country”
During the early 20th century, the United States struggled with intense labor conflict, unstable institutions, geographic fragmentation, and economic uncertainty and dislocation. Between roughly 1918 and the onset of World War II, institutional changes reduced conflict and channeled disputes over labor regulation, federal control of industry, and social insurance into courts and agencies. Doctrinally, implementation encompassed separation of powers, federalism, and administrative procedure. By reflecting on the larger context of societal conflict and institutional change playing out in the United States at the time, we can better understand the constitutional and statutory changes occurring during the country’s remarkable evolution into a geopolitical power, as well as its subsequent struggles to assuage conflict over civil rights and its continuing challenges in assuring the integrity and efficacy of its institutions.