Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


Thomas Halper

Committee Members

David R. Jones

Benedetto Fontana

Subject Categories

American Politics | Law and Economics


Posner, Chicago, law, economics, antitrust, efficiency


This dissertation analyzes the role of Richard Posner, one of the most prolific and innovative legal thinkers over the past forty years, as a judicial entrepreneur in his efforts to persuade the legal academy and judiciary to incorporate economic principles into the judicial decision making process in market and non-market areas of the law and legal discourse and thereby to re-examine the role of the judge. Though political scientists have explored the entrepreneurial activities of policy makers and political actors, they have given little attention to the role of judges as judicial entrepreneurs. This dissertation develops a comprehensive theoretical understanding of judicial entrepreneurship, analyzes Posner’s entrepreneurial characteristics and strategies, and assesses his impact on judicial decision making in the federal courts and the broader legal community.



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