2020 Missouri Law Review Symposium

A New Hope? An Interdisciplinary Reflection on the Constitution, Politics, and Polarization in Jack Balkin’s "The Cycles of Constitutional Time"

Taking place days after the presidential election, this symposium brings together an extraordinary group of scholars from multiple disciplines to reflect on Professor Jack Balkin’s explanation of our current times and his predictions about where we are headed. This year's symposium will be virtual. A webinar link will be added to this site closer to the event.

November 12-13, 2020


Our constitutional democracy is ailing. Increasing economic inequality, a lack of trust in our representatives and political processes, and extreme polarization threaten our constitutional order. Will our democracy survive in the coming decades, or are we seeing the beginning of its end, as many despair? In his new remarkable book, The Cycles of Constitutional Time, Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin draws on political science, law, and history to predict the coming decades, offering reasons for hope. He argues that our constitutional system and politics evolve through the interplay of three cycles: the rise and fall of political parties; periods of polarization and depolarization; and a cycle of constitutional rot and renewal. Understanding these cycles can shed light on a path towards redeeming our democracy and constitutional system.


Friday, November 13 – Keynote address
Jack Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, Yale Law School

Panelists – Final schedule still to be finalized

Frank Bowman, UM Board of Curators’ Distinguished Professor and Floyd R. Gibson Missouri Endowed Professor of Law, University of Missouri School of Law

Guy-Uriel Charles, Edward and Ellen Schwarzman Professor of Law, Duke Law School.

Erin Delaney, Professor of Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Jonathan Gienapp, Assistant Professor of History, Stanford University

Amanda Hollis-Brusky, Associate Professor of Politics, Pomona College

Sanford Levinson, W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law, University of Texas Law School

Samuel Moyn, Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence, Yale Law School, and Professor of History, Yale University

Law Review

First published in 1936, the Missouri Law Review is one of the oldest legal publications west of the Mississippi River. The law review is an entirely student-run and student-edited journal published quarterly by the University of Missouri School of Law.

The Missouri Law Review contains three sections: Lead Articles, Comments, and Case Notes, and Law Summaries. Law professors, practicing attorneys, and members of the judiciary write lead articles. Missouri Law Review members write for the comments section, providing an in-depth focus on a particular area of law. Law review associate members write case notes that analyze issues raised by recent court decisions or legislative acts. These members also write law summaries that provide a broad discussion of a statute or legal topic.

The Missouri Law Review publishes one volume per academic year. Each volume consists of the four issues published quarterly in the winter, spring, summer, and fall.