Edward J Balleisen
  • Edward J Balleisen

  • Associate Professor
  • History
  • 243B Carr Building
  • Campus Box 90719
  • Phone: (919) 684-2699
  • Fax: (919) 681-7670
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Specialties

    • Legal History
    • Politics, Public Life and Governance
    • Economic and Business Cultures
    • United States and Canada
  • Research Description

    I explore the historical intersections among law, business, culture, society, and politics in the modern United States. My first book, Navigating Failure: Bankruptcy and Commercial Society in Antebellum America (UNC Press, 2001), examined the social experience of business failure in the age of the self-made man, as well as the legal institutions that arose to cope with this endemic feature of the nineteenth-century economic landscape.

    I am now completing a monograph on the evolution of anti-fraud regulations in the United States, from the early nineteenth century to the present. Tentatively entitled Suckers, Swindlers, and an Ambivalent State: A History of Business Fraud in America, the book focuses on responses to “organizational fraud” – deception committed by businesses against customers, investors, and other counterparties. I pay especially close attention to the relationship between governmental regulation of commercial marketing practices and various mechanisms of business “self-regulation,” a relationship powerfully influenced by shifting ideas about the capacity of American consumers and investors to look out for themselves.

    In recent years, I have also delved into interdisciplinary debates about the nature of regulatory policy more generally, as well as the evolution of dominant approaches to political economy in modern capitalist societies. This dimension of my scholarship led to the publication in 2010 of Government and Markets: Toward a New Theory of Regulation (Cambridge University Press, 2010), which I edited along with the historian David Moss. This volume brings together several new conceptual approaches to regulatory governance from across the social sciences. It also lays out a wide-ranging research agenda for regulatory studies.

    Since 2010, I have directed the Rethinking Regulation Project, sponsored by Duke's Kenan Institute for Ethics, where I am also a senior fellow. This project brings together faculty and graduate students from across the university who are interested in regulatory policy and strategies of regulatory governance. For additional information, see: http://kenan.ethics.duke.edu/regulation/about/rethinking-regulation/

    I am especially interested in mentoring graduate students who wish to study the history of business-state relations, the regulatory state, business culture, political economy, and legal institutions. Although my research expertise lies particularly with American history from 1815 to the present, I have advised several graduate students who have pursued transnational dissertation topics, or who study other areas of the world.

    [last updated, 12/12]

  • Education

      • PhD,
      • History,
      • Yale University,
      • 1995
      • M.Phil,
      • Yale University,
      • 1992
      • BA,
      • Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs,
      • Princeton University,
      • 1987
  • Awards, Honors and Distinctions

      • McCraw Fellowship in U.S. Business History,
      • Harvard Business School,
      • Oct. - Nov. 2013
      • Henrietta Larson Award,
      • Business History Review,
      • 2009
      • Howard D. Johnson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching,
      • Duke University Arts & Sciences,
      • April 2005
      • $5000 Hunt Family Publication Award,
      • Duke University,
      • September 2004
      • Fellow, James Willard Hurst Legal History Institute,
      • American Society of Legal History,
      • June 2001
      • Named "Hunt Family Assistant Professor",
      • Duke University,
      • December 2000
      • George Washington Eggleston Prize,
      • Yale University Department of History,
      • 1996
    • Other

      • Convener, "Rethinking Regulation," Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar
        • 2010-13
        • Kenan Institute for Ethics
        • "Rethinking Regulation" brings together faculty from across the social sciences to consider new analytical approaches to studying the regulatory state, and to engage with regulatory protagonists from government, NGOs, and the private sector. This faculty seminar will offer a testing ground for research-in-progress, an incubator of experimental interdisciplinary courses on regulatory governance, and a means of public outreach.
      • Founder and Co-Convener, Triangle Legal History Seminar
        • 2006 - present
        • TLHS is a regional workshop for faculty and graduate students. It meets 8 times a year to discuss research-in-progress by area legal historians and selected visiting scholars.
  • Selected Publications

      • E.J. Balleisen and D. Moss, eds..
      • Government and Markets: Toward a New Theory of Regulation.
      • New York: Cambridge UP, 2010.
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      For a description, see: http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521118484

      This interdisciplinary volume explores a range of new analytical approaches to the regulatory state, and puts forward a wide-ranging research agenda for regulatory studies.

      • Navigating Failure: Bankruptcy and Commercial Society in Antebellum America.
      • University of North Carolina Press,
      • 2001.
      • [web]
      • E.J. Balleisen.
      • ""Private Cops on the Fraud Beat: The Limits of American Business Self-Regulation, 1895-1932"."
      • Business History Review
      • 83
      • .Spring
      • (2009)
      • :
      • 113-60.
      • (This article won the Henrietta Larson Award for the year's business submission to the BUSINESS HISTORY REVIEW)
      • [web]
      • E.J. Balleisen and E.K. Brake.
      • "Historical Perspective and Better Regulatory Governance: An Institutional Agenda for Reform."
      • Regulation & Governance
      • (2012)
      • .
      • (published online as early view, 12-12; doi:10.1111/rego.12000)
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      Compared to economics, sociology, political science, and law, the discipline of history has had a limited role in the wide-ranging efforts to reconsider strategies of regulatory governance, especially inside regulatory institutions. This article explores how more sustained historical perspective might improve regulatory decisionmaking. We first survey how a set of American regulatory agencies currently rely on historical research and analysis, whether for the purposes of public relations or as a means of supporting policymaking. We then consider how regulatory agencies might draw on history more self-consciously, more strategically, and to greater effect. Three areas stand out in this regard – the use of history to improve understanding of institutional culture; reliance on historical analysis to test the empirical plausibility of conceptual models that make assumptions about the likelihood of potential economic outcomes; and integration of historical research methods into program and policy evaluation.

      • Scenes from a Corporate Makeover: Columbia/HCA and Heathcare Fraud, 1992-2001.
      • Fuqua School of Management, Duke University,
      • 2003.
      Publication Description

      Four cases studies commissioned by Fuqua's Health Sector Management Program, for use in Business School courses.

      • E.J. Balleisen.
      • "Rights of Way, Red Flags, and Safety Valves: Regulated Business Self-Regulation in America, 1850-1940."
      • Regulierte Selbstregulierung in der westlichen Welt des späten 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhunderts / Regulated Self-Regulation in the Western World in the Late 19th and the Early 20th Century.
      • Ed. Peter Collin, Gerd Bender, Stefan Ruppert, Margrit Seckelmann, and Michael Stolleis.
      • Frankfurt am Main:
      • Klostermann,
      • (forthcoming in 2013)
      • [web]
      • E.J. Balleisen.
      • ""The Prospects for Effective Co-Regulation in the United States: A Historian's View from the Early Twenty-First Century"."
      • Government and Markets: Toward a New Theory of Regulation, ed. by E. Balleisen and D. Moss.
      • Cambridge UP,
      • 2010.
      • 443-81.
      • E.J. Balleisen and M. Eisner.
      • ""The Promise and Pitfalls of Co-Regulation: How Governments Can Draw on Private Governance for Public Purpose"."
      • New Pespectives on Regulation, edited by John Cisternino.
      • The Tobin Project,
      • 2009.
      • [web]
      • E.J. Balleisen.
      • ""Building a Doctoral Program in Business History"."
      • Teaching Business History: Insights and Ideas.
      • 2012.
      • 54-67.
      • [web]
      • E.J. Balleisen.
      • "Regulation."
      • The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History.
      • Oxford UP,
      • 2009.
      Publication Description

      A 7500-word essay on the history of American business regulation from the colonial period up to the present.

      • E.J. Balleisen and Mitchell Fraas.
      • "Legal History on the Web."
      • 2006.
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      web gateway to legal history in cyberspace.

  • View All Publications
  • Selected Grants

    • Thomas McCraw Fellowship in United States Business History
      • Type: Fellowship
      • Agency: Harvard University
    • Rethinking Regulation
      • Type: Research
      • Agency: Duke University Provost's Office
    • Rule of Law in World History, 2009-11
      • Agency: Teagle Foundation, Inc.
    • Course Development Grant for Modern Regulatory State
      • Type: Institutional Support
      • Agency: Provost's Undergraduate Team-Teaching Initiative
    • Tobin Project Fellowship, 2007
      • Type: Fellowship
      • Agency: The Tobin Project
    • Burckhardt Fellowship
      • Type: Research
      • Agency: American Council of Learned Societies
  • PhD Students

    • Arthur M. Fraas
      • 2006 to 2011
      • Status: PostQual
    • Fahad Bishara
      • 2007 to 2012
      • Status: PostQual
  • background