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September 13, 2006

Gerhard Casper Named to American Law and Governance Chair in John W. Kluge Center

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has named Gerhard Casper, president emeritus of Stanford University, to the Chair of American Law and Governance in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.

Casper, who will assume the chair in October, served as president of Stanford from 1992 to 2000. He is currently the Peter and Helen Bing Professor in Undergraduate Education at Stanford. He is also a professor of law, a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a professor of political science (by courtesy).

At the Kluge Center, Casper will work on two unrelated issues. His main research will focus on Max Weber’s views on democratic governance. His second project will deal with the 1795 U.S. Naturalization Act.

Born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1937, Casper studied law at the universities of Freiburg and Hamburg, where he earned his first law degree. He received a master’s in law from Yale in 1962 and eventually earned his doctorate in law from Freiburg in 1964. He has been awarded honorary doctorates, most recently in law from Yale and in philosophy from Uppsala University in Sweden.

Following his immigration to the United States, Casper was assistant professor of political science at the University of California at Berkeley from 1964 to 1966. He then joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School, and between 1979 and 1987 served as dean of the law school. In 1989, Casper was appointed provost of the University of Chicago.

Casper has taught and written extensively in the fields of constitutional law, constitutional history, comparative law and jurisprudence. His books include a monograph on legal realism (Berlin, 1967); an empirical study of the Supreme Court’s workload (Chicago, 1976, with Richard A. Posner); “Separating Power” (1997), concerning the separation of powers practices at the end of the 18th century in the United States; and “Cares of the University” (1997), about the Stanford presidency. He is also the author of numerous scholarly articles.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information on fellowships, grants and programs offered by the Kluge Center, visit

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PR 06-168
ISSN 0731-3527

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