Jordan Carr Peterson

Assistant Professor
Political Science
Scharbauer Hall 2007E | 817-257-4551

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Ph.D., Political Science, University of Southern California (2018)
JD, University of Florida Levin College of Law (2012)
BA, German Literature, University of Southern California (2008)

Courses Taught

POSC 20403 Introduction to Public Law
POSC 34013 Constitutional Law: Powers
POSC 34073 Moot Court
POSC 34083 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties
POSC 34093 Judicial Politics

Areas of Focus

American Political and Legal Institutions

Jordan Carr Peterson teaches and researches in judicial politics, American political and legal institutions, and the politics of the bureaucracy. He teaches courses in law and politics such as Introduction to Public Law, the Constitutional Law sequence, and Judicial Politics. His research interests include the study of judicial, administrative, and legislative institutions in the federal and state levels of the American government, and their relative capacity as sites for policy formulation, development, and implementation. He is particularly interested in how the fragmented distribution of authority across institutions in the American federal system affects the quality of policy outputs and changes the political opportunity structure for policy development. His research also considers how variation in institutional design constrains or enables elite political behavior.

 Much of his current research focuses on the role played by public officials’ private financial and investment choices in their policy decisions. For instance, he considers whether and by what means judges and bureaucrats make regulatory and adjudicatory decisions based on the extent to which they are personally exposed to the financial well-being of regulated industries or litigant firms. His publications include articles in journals such as State Politics & Policy Quarterly, the Journal of Law & Courts, Laws, and Politics & Gender.


“Their Boot in Our Face No Longer? Administrative Sectionalism and Resistance to Federal Authority in the U.S. South,” (with Nicholas G. Napolio), State Politics & Policy Quarterly, forthcoming.

 “Packing the Courts: Ideological Proximity and Expansions to the Federal Judiciary 1937-2012,” (with Elli Menounou, Adam Feldman, and Thora Giallouri), Journal of Law and Courts, forthcoming.

 “All Their Eggs in One Basket? Ideological Congruence in Congress and the Bicameral Origins of Concentrated Delegation to the Bureaucracy,” Laws, 7, 19, 2018.

 “Letting Down the Ladder or Shutting the Door: Female Prime Ministers, Party Leaders, and Cabinet Members,” (with Diana Z. O’Brien, Matthew Mendez, and Jihyun Shin), Politics & Gender 11(4): 689-717, 2015.


“Powering Federalism: State Agency Partisanship and Nonacquiescence to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission” (with Nicholas G. Napolio), presented at Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting, Chicago (Apr. 2018).

 “Private Delegation: Presidents, Agencies, and the Outsourcing of Policy Implementation” (with Kathleen Doherty and Pamela Clouser McCann), presented at Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting, Chicago (Apr. 2018).

 “Race, Business Interests, and the Decisions of Public Officials” (with Christian R. Grose and Ayana Best), presented at Western Political Science Association annual meeting, San Francisco (Mar. 2018).

 “Outside the Neutral Zone: The Private Financial Interests of Bureaucrats and the Perils of Administrative Discretion,” invited to present at the Political Institutions and Political Economy (PIPE) Research Series, Bedrosian Center on Governance, University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy (Sept. 2017).

 “Separated Institutions Sharing Interests: Interbranch Trust and Investment-Oriented Judicial Deference to Administrative Policy Choices,” presented at American Political Science Association annual meeting, San Francisco (Aug. 2017) and Southern California Law & Social Science Forum, Claremont McKenna College (Apr. 2017).