Samuel Krislov

Samuel Krislov

Fellow: Awarded 1979
Field of Study: Political Science

Competition: US & Canada

Brandeis University

Samuel Krislov is currently Distinguished Alumni Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at American University and Emeritus Professor of Political Science and Law at the University of Minnesota, where he served forty years, ten of them as Chair of the Political Science Department. He also taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Law School, Columbia University, and the University of Wisconsin, as well as Fudan University (Shanghai) and Tel Aviv University and in Korea, Turkey, Hungary, and Poland. He also held research posts at the European University Institute, the Asser Institute in The Hague, and the Japan Today Fulbright Program.

Professor Krislov joined a small group of law professors, sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, and other related scholars who, with strong support from the Russell Sage Foundation and the SSRC, altered the field of teaching and research about law by fostering nondoctrinal, empirical, and interdisciplinary thinking. He was an early president of the Law and Society Association and the second editor of its flagship Law and Society Review. Intellectually, he helped broaden the field of research on such topics as recruitment and options of parties (amicus curiae brief, Yale Law Review [1963]); “OEO Lawyers,” Minnesota Law Review (1973); small-group interaction of multi-judge courts (Supreme Court in the Political Process, 1965); and the basic difficulty of enforcing court decisions (Compliance, 1972). This approach was validated in the field of politics as courses labeled Judicial Process or Law and Society became part of the curriculum supplementing or supplanting courses in constitutional law.

Though he has published on regulation, process, and administrative law, Samuel Krislov is known primarily in the field of public administration for his application of the concept of “representative bureaucracy” (1974) to special problems of race and ethnicity as key social problems. He borrowed the term from J. Donald Kingsley, but the broader focus has attracted discussion, and empirical research from key figures in public administration, including Mosher, Meier, Nigro, and especially Rosenbloom.

After collaborating with Entermann and Weiler in a comparative study of policymaking in the U.S. and the European Union (1986), he combined many of his interests in a work entitled How Nations Choose Product Standards (1997). Its emphasis was on instrumental use of standards as an instrument of community building.

In addition to his Guggenheim Fellowship, he has received support from the NSF and the National Institute of Justice, and the Ford, Bush, Rockefeller, and Russell Sage foundations, as well as Fulbright teaching and research posts. He received a lifetime achievement award from the Law and Politics section of the American Political Science Association in 1998. He was active in the National Research Council, serving as founding chair of its Committee on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice and as a member of panels on a half-dozen issues.


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