Jedediah S. Purdy

William S. Beinecke Professor of Law

Jedediah S. Purdy

William S. Beinecke Professor of Law

Jedediah Purdy joined Columbia Law School as a Professor of Law in January 2019. He teaches and writes on constitutional, environmental, and property law as well as legal theory and law’s intersection with social and political thought.

Purdy is the author of six books, including After Nature (2015) and a trilogy on American politics that concluded with A Tolerable Anarchy (2009). His legal scholarship has appeared in the Yale Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, and many other journals. He is also a frequent contributor to publications such as The Atlantic, n+1, The New Republic, and The New Yorker.

Before joining the Law School faculty, Purdy taught at Duke Law School for 14 years. He has been a visiting professor at Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, the University of Virginia School of Law, and the Georgetown University Law Center. He served as a law clerk for Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

  • J.D., Yale Law School, 2001
  • A.B., Harvard College, 1997
Areas of Expertise
  • Constitutional Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Legal Theory
  • Property
  • Social and Political Thought
  • “The Long Environmental Justice Movement,” Ecology Law Quarterly, 2018
  • The Left’s Guide to Reclaiming the Constitution,” The New York Times, 2018
  • Trump’s Nativism Is Transforming the Physical Landscape,” The Atlantic, 2018
  • “Inequality Rediscovered,” (with David Singh Grewal), Theoretical Inquiries in Law, 2017
  • “Overcoming the Great Forgetting,” Texas Law Review, 2016
  • After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene, Harvard University Press, 2015
  • “Wealth and Democracy,” Nomos, 2015
  • “Property in American Constitutional Law,” Oxford Handbook of the U.S. Constitution, 2015
  • “Introduction: Law and Neoliberalism,” (with David Singh Grewal), Law and Contemporary Problems, 2015
  • The Meaning of Property: Freedom, Community, and the Legal Imagination, Yale University Press, 2010
  • “The Politics of Nature: Environmental Law, Democracy, and Climate Change,” Yale Law Journal, 2010
  • A Tolerable Anarchy: Rebels, Reactionaries, and the Making of American Freedom, Knopf, 2009
  • Democratic Vistas: Reflections on the Life of American Democracy, Yale University Press, 2004
  • Being America: Liberty, Commerce and Violence in an American World, Knopf, 2003
  • For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today, Knopf, 1999
Activities and Affiliations
  • Co-founder, Law & Political Economy (LPE) blog and LPE Initiative (a Hewlett Foundation project)
  • Co-founder, Facing the Anthropocene (a Luce Foundation Project)
  • Contributing Editor, The American Prospect
  • Editorial Board Member, Dissent
  • Reviewer, Yale University Press
  • Reviewer, Harvard University Press
Professional Experience
  • Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law, 2009–2018
  • Associate Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law, 2007–2009
  • Assistant Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law, 2004–2007
  • Law Clerk to Judge Pierre N. Leval, Second Circuit Court of Appeals, 2002–2003
Download Full C.V.
American Constitutional Law
Constitutional Law
Legal Methods II: Legal Theory
S. Democracy and its Crises