David A. Westbrook
David A. Westbrook

About the project

I plan to explore senses in which "the future" can stand in for teleology, thus filling oft remarked lacunae in liberalism. More darkly, I am also interested in how ostensibly participatory modes of projection can be used as techniques of management and even coercion, rule by ostensible consensus.

Short biography

David A. Westbrook, Louis Del Cotto Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School, thinks and writes about the social and intellectual consequences of contemporary political economy. His work influences numerous disciplines, and he has spoken on six continents to academics, business and financial leaders, members of the security community, civil institutions and governments, often with the sponsorship of the U.S. State Department. Among his many books and articles, perhaps the most relevant to this project are Navigators of the Contemporary: Why Ethnography Matters; Deploying Ourselves: Islamist Violence and the Responsible Projection of US Force; and Out of Crisis: Rethinking Our Financial Markets.

Selected publications



with Maguire, Mark. Getting Through Security: Counterterrorism, Bureaucracy and a Sense of the Modern. Routledge


Welcome To New Country: Music for Today's America. Amazon.


Deploying Ourselves: Islamist Violence and the Responsible Projection of U.S. Force. Boulder, Colo.: Paradigm Publishers.


Out of Crisis: Rethinking Our Financial Markets. Boulder: Paradigm Publisher.


Navigators of the Contemporary: Why Ethnography Matters. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Between Citizen and State: An Introduction to the Corporation. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers.


City of Gold: An Apology for Global Capitalism in a Time of Discontent. New York: Routledge.

Peer-reviewed articles


with Maguire, Mark. 'Those People [May Yet Be] a Kind of Solution' Late Imperial Thoughts on the Humanization of Officialdom. Buffalo Law Review Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3293982


Creative Engagements Indeed! Open “Disciplines, The Allure of Others, and Intellectual Fertility". Journal of Business Anthropology, 3(2): 33-48.

Ronald Coase (1910-2013), World Economics Association Newsletter vol. 3 (October 2013); republished by University of New South Wales Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation (posted Dec. 4, 2013); Laboratorio de Análisis Económico y Social A.C., Debate Económico, 2(3), No. 6 Septiembre-Diciembre 2013: 120-128 (posted March 26, 2014).


Neofeudalism, Paraethnography and the Custodial Regulation of Financial Institutions. JASSA: The Finsia Journal of Applied Finance, 2(57).

Dinner Parties During "Lost Decades": On the Difficulties of Rethinking Financial Markets, Fostering Elite Consensus, and Renewing Political Economy. Seattle University Law Reviewvol, 36: 1187


A Shallow Harbor and a Cold Horizon: The Deceptive Promise of Modern Agency Law for the Theory of the Firm. Seattle University Law Review, 35: 1369.


Augustia, Disciplina, Esperanca (written as Anxiety, Hope, Discipline: Economic Crisis as Portugal’s Opportunity) (in Portuguese), Nova Cidadania, 45: 16.

If Not a Commercial Republic? Political Economy in the United States After Citizens United. University of Louisville Law Review, 50: 35.


Happy Talk and the Stock Market. Real World Economics Review, 53: 43.

Tragedy, Law, and rethinking Our Financial Markets. Real World Economics Review, 53: 100.


Introduction: Unsettling Questions, Disquieting Stories. Michigan State Law Review, 2009: 817.


Notes Toward A Theory of the Executive Class. Buffalo Law Review, 55: 1047.

Strategic Consequences of Radical Islamic Neofundamentalism. ORBIS: Journal of World Affairs, 51: 461.


The Time of Faith: Contemporary Muslims, Secularists, and Anxieties over the Nature of History. SSRN.

Intellectual Vocations in the City of Gold. Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 29: 154.

The Globalization of American Law, Theory. Culture and Society, 23: 526.

Theorizing the Diffusion of Law: Conceptual Difficulties, Unstable Imaginations, and the Effort to Think Gracefully Nonetheless. Harvard International Law Journal, 47: 489.


Galanter v. Weber. Buffalo Law Review, 53: 1445.

Rassurante Amerique: Tocqueville revue par Bernard-Henri Levy. Esprit, November: 6.


Reading Quicksilver: A Response to Pierre d'Argent. Buffalo Law Review, 52: 629.

Telling All: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Ideal of Transparency. Michigan State Dcl Law Review, 2004: 441.


Corporation Law After Enron: the Possibility of a Capitalist Reimagination. Georgetown Law Journal, 92: 61.

Pierre Schlag and the Temple of Boredom. University Of Miami Law Review, 57: 649.

Triptych: Three Meditations on How Law Rules after Globalization. Minnesota Journal of Global Trade, 12: 337.


Visions of History in the Hope for Sustainable Development. Buffalo Environmental Law Journal, 10: 301.


Bin Laden's War. Buffalo Law Review, 54: 981.


Law Through War. Buffalo Law Review, 48: 299.


Administrative Takings: A Realist Perspective on the Practice and Theory of Regulatory Takings Cases. Notre Dame Law Review, vol. 74.


Liberal Environmental Jurisprudence. U.C. Davis L. Rev., 27: 619.


Islamic International Law and Public International Law: Separate Expressions of World Order. Virginia Journal of International Law, 33: 819.


Return to Europe: Integrating. Harvard International Law Journal, 31: 660.

Chapters in anthologies

Leaving Flatland: Planar Discourses and the Search for the G-Axis, in Political Affairs: Bridging Markets and Politics. Oxford University Press. (forthcoming).

Critical Issues for Qualitative Research, in The Sage Handbook 0f Qualitative Research, 5th ed, eds, Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln. SAGE Publications. (forthcoming).


The Culture of Financial Institutions; the Institution of Political Economy, in Regulating Culture: Integrity, Risk and Accountability in Capital Markets. Hart Publishing.


International Law, in Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics. Oxford University Press.


Stability, integration and political modalities: some American reflections on the European project after the financial crisis, in Making Transnational Law Work in the Global Economy, eds. Pieter H. F. Bekker, Rudolf Dolzer and Michael Waibel, Cambridge University Press.


Online Trading: Issuers, Broker-Dealers and SROs, Securities, in The Electronic Age: A Practical Guide to the Law And Regulation. Glasser Legal Works.