Kevin Cope

  • Research Assistant Professor of Law, General Faculty

Kevin Cope is a research assistant professor of law at the Law School and faculty affiliate at the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics. Cope’s research focuses on law and economics, international relations and international law. He is especially interested in the law and politics of international institutions, migration, and relationships between domestic institutional structure and international behavior.

Cope is currently pursuing a series of research initiatives related to the decision-making and attitudes of legal and political actors. In an initiative on multilateral treaty-making, he applies a theoretical model (related to co-authored work with James D. Morrow) to negotiating data collected from the archived records of the last few decades’ most significant conventions. Cope hopes the methods will eventually assist international officials in designing more effective treaty-making processes across issue areas. A second initiative (with Charles Crabtree) investigates how legal rules affect citizens’ attitudes toward domestic immigration policies. A third initiative (with Adam Feldman) develops the first judicial ideology measure covering nearly the entire federal judiciary. The authors hope that those data will allow researchers to address important questions about judging and judicial behavior that were previously intractable due to data limitations.

Cope is currently pursuing two primary research initiatives. In a paper (co-authored with James D. Morrow), he and his co-author develop a formal model of multilateral treaty-making. Guided by this theory, Cope applies an empirical model to negotiating data collected from the archived records of many of the last few decades’ most significant international conventions. One goal is to use the models to assist negotiators in finding sets of treaty terms that will appeal to a critical mass of key states, thereby improving prospects for effective global cooperation in areas such as trade, disarmament, migration and environmental. A second initiative (with co-author Adam Feldman) develops the first judicial ideology measure covering nearly the entire federal judiciary. The measure is derived from text analysis of tens of thousands of qualitative judicial evaluations from legal experts familiar with judges' decisions. The data will allow researchers to address important questions about judging and judicial behavior that were previously intractable due to data limitations.

Before coming to the Law School, Cope served as a federal judicial clerk for judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Northern District of Ohio and the Court of Federal Claims. He also practiced government enforcement litigation law in Washington, D.C., with Skadden, Arps, where he handled matters involving treaties, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, immigration law, the World Bank and the U.S. Constitution. In law school, he served as an editor of the Northwestern University Law Review.

Education

  • Ph.D.
    University of Michigan, expected
    2019
  • LL.M.
    Georgetown University Law Center
    2012
  • J.D.
    Northwestern University School of Law
    2004
  • B.A.
    Ohio State University
    2000

Articles and Essays

“Patterns of Disagreement in State Repression Measures” (with Charles Crabtree & Christopher J. Fariss) (Forthcoming at Political Science Research and Methods)
 
Book Review of The Interpretation of International Law by Domestic Courts (Helmut Philipp Aust & Georg Nolte, eds. (Oxford University Press 2016)) (with Mila Versteeg), 111 Am. J. Int'l L. (2017)
 
"Disaggregating the Human Rights Treaty Regime" (with Cosette D. Creamer) 56 Va. J. Int’l L. 463 (2017).
HeinOnline (PDF)
 
"Congress’s International Legal Discourse," 113 Mich. L. Rev. 1115 (2015).
  • Excerpted in Curtis A. Bradley & Jack L. Goldsmith, Foreign Relations Law: Cases and Materials (5th ed. 2014) (Dec. 2016 supplement).
  • Reprinted as O Discurso Jurídico Internacional do Congresso Estadunidense, Seqüência: Estudos Jurídicos e Políticos 37 (74), 19–96.

"Lost in Translation: The Accidental Origins of Bond v. United States," 112 Mich. L. Rev. (First Impressions) 133 (2014).

"The Intermestic Constitution: Lessons From the World’s Newest Nation," 53 Va. J. Int’l L. 667 (2013).

Book Chapters

"Treaty Law and National Legislative Politics," in Research Handbook on the Politics of International Law (Wayne Sandholtz & Christopher Whytock, eds., Edward Elgar, 2017).

"Comparative International Law in National Legislatures" (with Hooman Movassagh) in Comparative International Law (Anthea Roberts et al., eds., Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2017).

"Reconceptualizing Recognition Uniformity," in Foreign Court Judgments and the U.S. Legal System (Paul Stephan, ed., Brill, 2014).

"South Sudan’s Dualistic Constitution," in The Social & Political Foundations of Constitutions (D.J. Galligan et al., eds., Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Working Papers

"A Nationalist Backlash to International Refugee Law: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Turkey" (with Charles Crabtree), (under review).
SSRN

"The Limits of Information Revelation in Multilateral Negotiations: A Theory of Treatymaking" (with James D. Morrow) (under review).
SSRN

“Conceptualizing and Measuring Repression” (with Charles Crabtree), 81 Law & Contemp. Probs. (forthcoming 2018). 

"Estimating Judicial Traits Using Text Analysis of Expert Evaluations" (with Adam Feldman).

Works in Progress

"Alliance-Forming in Treaty Negotiations" (with James D. Morrow).

"Non-immigrant Visas as Foreign Policy" ( with David Leblang).

"The Empirical Study of Rights and Institutions " (with Cosette D. Creamer and Mila Versteeg), 14 Ann. Rev. L. & Soc. Sci. (forthcoming 2018).

“What’s Next? Cross-disciplinary Possibilities for Rights Research” (with Yonatan Lupu), 81 Law. & Contemp. Probs. (forthcoming 2018).

"Estimating State Interest From Treaty Negotiations " (with Charles Crabtree and James D. Morrow).

 

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