Les membres | Membres associés

James Q. Whitman


Room 231
New Haven
Connecticut  06520
United States
Phone: (203) 432-8392

James Q. Whitman is the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at Yale Law School. He earned his B.A. and J.D. from Yale University and Law School and also holds an M.A. in European History from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Intellectual History from the University of Chicago. From 1988-1989, Professor Whitman clerked for the Hon. Ralph K. Winter of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, then began his teaching career at Stanford University Law School. He has taught as a visiting professor at universities in France and Italy and has been a professor at Yale Law School since 1994. In 1996 he became the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law. Professor Whitman's many articles have been published internationally and across disciplines. He has also been awarded numerous prizes and fellowships throughout his career. His recent scholarship includes an article, "The Two Western Cultures of Privacy: Dignity versus Liberty" published in the 2004 volume of The Yale Law Journal. His 2003 book, Harsh Justice: Criminal Punishment and the Widening Divide Between America and Europe, published by the Oxford University Press, won the 2004 Distinguished Book Award of the Division of International Criminology of the American Society of Criminology.





  • The Origins of Reasonable Doubt: Theological Roots of the Criminal Trial. (Yale University Press, 2007)
  • Harsh Justice:  Criminal Punishment and the Widening Divide between America and Europe (Oxford University Press, 2003). Received Distinguished Book Award of the Division of International Criminology, American Society of Criminology.
  • The Legacy of Roman Law in the German Romantic Era: Historical Vision and Legal Change (Princeton University Press, 1990).


  • “Comment expliquer la peine aux États-Unis?” Archives de Politique Criminelle 27 (2005): 225-233.
  • “Comparative Criminal Punishment.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 1 (2005): 17-34.
  • “Response to Garland,” Punishment and Society 7 (2005): 389-396.
  • “’Human Dignity’ in Europe and the United States: The Social Foundations.” Human Rights Law Journal 25 (2004): 17-23.
  • “Between Self-Defense and Vengeance/Between Social Contract and Monopoly of Violence.” Tulsa Law Review 39 (2004): 901-924
  • “The Two Western Cultures of Privacy: Dignity versus Liberty.” Yale Law Journal 113 (2004): 1151-1221. 
  • “A Plea Against Retributivism.” Buffalo Criminal Law Review 7 (2004): 85-107.
  • “Bring Back the Glory!” Rechtsgeschichte 4 (2004): 74-84.
  • “Long Live the Hatred of Roman Law!” Rechtsgeschichte 2 (2003): 40-57.
  • “The European Transformation of Harassment Law.” With G. Friedman. Columbia Journal of European Law 9 (2003): 241-274.
  • “From Fascist ‘Honour’ to European ‘Dignity’” in C. Joerges and N. Ghaleigh, eds., The Darker Legacy of European Law: Perceptions of Europe and Perspectives on a European Order in Legal Scholarship during the Era of Fascism and National Socialism. Cambridge:  Hart, 2003, 243-266.
  • “The Neo-Romantic Turn.” in  P. Legrand and R. Munday, eds., Comparative Legal Studies: Traditions and Transitions.  Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2003, 312-344.
  • “Aux Origines du ‘Monopole de la Violence’.”  in C. Colliot-Thélène and J.-F. Kervégan, eds., De la Société à la Sociologie.  Lyon:  ENS Éditions, 2002, 71-91.
  • “Zum Thema der Selbsthilfe in der Rechtsgeschichte.”  In W. Fikentscher, ed., Begegnung und Konflikt.  Eine Kulturanthropologische Bestandsaufnahme.   Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-Historische Klasse, N.F. 120 (2001): 97-105.
  • “The Opposition to Public Punishment in Germany:  At the Christian Sources,” in Grundlagen des Rechts.  Festschrift für Peter Landau, eds. Helmholz, Mikat, Müller and Stolleis (Paderborn, 2000), 759-776.
  • “Enforcing Civility and Respect:  Three Societies.” Yale Law Journal 109 (2000):  1279-1398.
  • “What is Wrong with Inflicting Shame Sanctions?” Yale Law Journal 107 (1998):  1055-1092.
  • “Jhering Parmis les Français,” in O. Beaud and P. Wachsmann, eds., La Science  Juridique Française et la Science Juridique Allemande de 1870 à 1918  (1997):151-164.
  • “At the Scholarly Sources of Weber’s Melancholy,” Quaderni Fiorentini per la Storia del Pensiero Giuridico Moderno 26 (1997):  325-362.
  • “The Moral Menace of Roman Law and the Making of Commerce:  Some Dutch Evidence,” Yale Law Journal 105 (1996):  1841-1889.
  • “At the Origins of Law and the State:  Monopolization of Violence, Mutilation of Bodies, or Fixing of Prices?” Chicago-Kent Law Review 71 (1996):  41-84.
  • “The Seigneurs Descend to the Rank of Creditors:  The Abolition of Respect, 1790,” Yale Journal of Law and Humanities 6 (1994):  249-283.
  • “Les seigneurs descendent au rang de simples créanciers:  Droit romain, droit féodal, et Révolution,”  in Droits.  Revue française de théorie juridique 17 (1993):  19-32 (French version of previous item).
  • “Early German Corporatism in America:  Limits of the Social in the Land of Economics,” in Continental Ideas in Anglo-American Law ca. 1800-1920, M. Reimann, ed., (Duncker & Humblot, 1993):  229-252.
  • “Why Did the Revolutionary Lawyers Confuse Custom and Reason?” University of Chicago Law Review 58 (1991):  1321-1368.
  • “Of Corporatism, Fascism and the First New Deal,” in American Journal of Comparative Law 39 (1991):  747-778.
  • “The Lawyers Discover the Fall of Rome,” Law and History Review 9 (1991): 191-220.
  • “A Note on the Medieval Division of the Digest,” Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis 59 (1991):  269-284.
  • “The Last Generation of Roman Lawyers in Germany,” in The Uses of Greek and Latin: Historical Essays (Warburg Institute, 1988).
  • Note, “Commercial Law and the American Volk:  A Note on Llewellyn's German Sources for the Uniform Commercial Code,” Yale Law Journal 97 (1987):  156-175.
  • “Nietzsche in the Magisterial Tradition of German Classical Philology,” in  Journal of the History of Ideas, XLVII, 3 (1986) 453-468.
  • “From Philology to Anthropology in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Germany,” in  Functionalism Historicized:  History of Anthropology II, G. Stocking, ed.,  (University of Wisconsin Press, 1984) 214-229.

Book Reviews Comments, and Occasional Pieces

  • Book Review Essay, “Making Happy Punishers.”  Harvard Law Review 118 (2005): 2698-2724. (Review of M. Nussbaum, Hiding from Humanity).

  • Review of C. Fasolt, The Limits of History, Law and History Review 23 (2005): 459.

  • “Prisoner Degradation, At Home and Abroad.” Washington Post, May 10, 2004.
  • “A Simple Story.”  Rechtsgeschichte 4 (2004):  206. (Review of P. Glenn, Legal Traditions of the World.)
  • “La justice française vers une américanisation?” Libération, November 27, 2003, p. 36.
  • Review of W. Wiecek, The Lost World of Classical Legal Thought, in 68 Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis 188 (2000)
  • Review of  P. Quint, Imperfect Union, in 103 American Historical Review 1275 (1998)
  • Review of M. Stolleis, Recht im Unrecht, in 69 Journal of Modern History 889 (1997)
  • “Reason or Hermeticism?” 5 Southern California Interdiscplinary Law Journal 193 (1997)
  • “From Cause Célèbre to Revolution,” Review of D. Bell, Citizens and Lawyers, 7 Yale Journal of Law and Humanities 457 (1995)
  • Review of Quaderni Fiorentini per la storia del pensiero giuridico moderno, vol. 20:  François Gény e la Scienza Giuridica del Novecento, in Journal of Modern History 67 (1995): 176.
  • “The Disease Idea of Roman Law, A Century Later.” 20 Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce 227 (1994)
  • Review of T. Kuehn, Law, Family and Women:  Toward a Legal Anthropology of Renaissance Italy, in 12 Law & History Review 185 (1994). 
  • “Law and the Pre-Modern Mind,”  review of Donald Kelley, The Human Measure, 44 Stanford Law Review 205 (1991).
  • “Memories of Arnaldo Momigliano,” in Remembering the University of Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 1991), 351-59.

Works in Progress

  • “Consumerism, Producerism and Comparative Law”
  • “The Separation of Church and State in America and France: Why the Difference?”

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