MU Press Book Series

Studies in Constitutional Democracy, the Kinder Institute’s interdisciplinary monograph series with University of Missouri Press, officially launched in April 2016 with the publication of Professor James Endersby and Professor Bill Horner’s co-authored Lloyd Gaines and the Fight to End Segregation, the first manuscript to devote itself entirely to exploring the historical and political significance of Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada (1938), an integral, though often overlooked, landmark in civil rights history. Please visit the Studies in Constitutional Democracy catalog on the University of Missouri Press website for more information about this and other series titles.


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  • From Oligarchy to Republicanism: The Great Task of Reconstruction (Coming December 2017)

    Forrest A. Nabors

    In From Oligarchy to Republicanism: The Great Task of Reconstruction, University of Alaska-Anchorage Professor Forrest A. Nabors shows that the ultimate goal of the Republican Party, the war, and Reconstruction was the same. This goal was to preserve and advance republicanism as the American founders understood it, against its natural, existential enemy: oligarchy. The principle of natural equality justified American republicanism and required abolition and equal citizenship. Likewise, slavery and discrimination on the basis of color stand on the competing moral foundation of oligarchy, the principle of natural inequality, which requires ranks.

  • Bureaucracy in America: The Administrative State’s Challenge to Constitutional Government

    Joseph Postell

    In this trenchant intellectual history, Postell demonstrates how modern administrative law has attempted to restore the principles of American constitutionalism but has failed to be as effective as earlier approaches to regulation.

  • John Henry Wigmore and the Rules of Evidence

    Andrew Porwancher

    At the dawn of the twentieth century, the United States was reeling from the effects of rapid urbanization and industrialization. Time-honored verities proved obsolete, and intellectuals in all fields sought ways to make sense of an increasingly unfamiliar reality. The legal system in particular began to buckle under the weight of its anachronism.

  • Lloyd Gaines and the Fight to End Segregation

    James Endersby and William T. Horner

    This is is the first book to focus entirely on the Gaines case and the vital role played by the NAACP and its lawyers—especially Charles Houston, known as “the man who killed Jim Crow”—as they advanced a concerted strategy to produce political change.


The United States presents world political history with a paradox: a constitutional democracy whose constitution barely mentions democracy. A constantly roiling political free-for-all, it has yet remained more rigidly bound to its constitutional rules, and more constitutionally stable, than any other country. The interplay of these fluid elements is both the inspiration and subject matter for this series.

While examinations of American constitutional democracy is central to the series, we broadly construe this thematic focus to cover not only the philosophical foundations and historical origins of the nation’s democratic and constitutional traditions but also the evolution, application, and reinterpretation of these traditions in later periods and around the globe. With this in mind, topics that we can imagine future titles in the series exploring include:

  • The reception and refraction of constitutional and democratic ideas in American culture
  • Theory and practice of the Electoral College
  • The constitutional or democratic ideas of forgotten forces in American politics
  • Histories of the way particular presidential elections turned on constitutional issues or radically transformed prevailing interpretations and uses of the Constitution
  • The interplay or competition between constitutional democracy and other forms of politics in American history
  • Criticisms and re-appropriations of American constitutional democracy outside the United States


For further information or to submit a manuscript proposal, please contact: Gary Kass, Acquisitions Editor, University of Missouri Press or one of the series editors: Justin B. Dyer or Jeffrey L. Pasley.

Justin B. Dyer, Director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri–Columbia and author of American Soul: The Contested Legacy of the Declaration of Independence; Natural Law and the Antislavery Constitutional Tradition; and Slavery, Abortion, and the Politics of Constitutional Meaning.

Jeffrey L. Pasley, Associate Director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, is Professor of History at the University of Missouri–Columbia, author of The First Presidential Contest: 1796 and the Founding of American Democracy and “The Tyranny of Printers”: Newspaper Politics in the Early American Republic, and co-editor of Beyond the Founders: New Approaches to the Political History of the Early American Republic.