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Ganesh Sitaraman

Professor of Law

Ganesh Sitaraman‘s current research addresses issues in constitutional, administrative and foreign relations law. He was on leave from Vanderbilt‘s faculty from 2011 to 2013, serving as Elizabeth Warren‘s policy director during her campaign for the Senate, and then as her senior counsel in the Senate. Professor Sitaraman also served as an adviser to Warren when she was chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Trouble Assets Relief Program (TARP). Before joining Vanderbilt‘s law faculty in 2011, Professor Sitaraman was the Public Law Fellow and a lecturer at Harvard Law School and a law clerk for Judge Stephen F. Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He has also been a research fellow at the Counterinsurgency Training Center – Afghanistan in Kabul, and a visiting fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Professor Sitaraman is the author, most recently, of The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution (Knopf, 2017), which argues that a strong and sizable middle class is a prerequisite for America's constitutional system. His previous book, The Counterinsurgent‘s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars (Oxford University Press, 2012), was awarded the 2013 Palmer Prize for Civil Liberties. He has commented on foreign and domestic policy in the New York Times, The New Republic, and the Boston Globe. An Eagle Scout and a Truman Scholar, he earned his A.B. in government magna cum laude at Harvard, a master‘s degree in political thought from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was the Lionel de Jersey Harvard Scholar, and his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He is a principal of the Truman National Security Project and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.



Research Interests

Constitutional law, constitutional theory, foreign relations law, administrative law, regulation, political theory, institutional design, international law


Representative Publications

  • The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution, Alfred A. Knopf, 2017
  • "The Puzzling Absence of Economic Power in Constitutional Theory," 101 Cornell Law Review 1445 (2016)
    Full Text | SSRN | PDF
  • "The Origins of Legislation," 91 Notre Dame Law Review 79 (2015)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • The Counterinsurgent’s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars, Oxford University Press (2012)
  • "The Normalization of Foreign Relations Law," 128 Harvard Law Review 1897 (2015) (with Ingrid Wuerth)
    Full Text | WWW
  • "Behavioral War Powers," 90 New York University Law Review 516 (2015) (with David Zionts)
    Full Text | WWW
  • "Foreign Hard Look Review," 66 Administrative Law Review 489 (2014)
  • "Contracting Around Citizens United," 114 Columbia Law Review 755 (2014)
    Full Text | SSRN | WWW
  • "Credibility and War Powers," 127 Harvard Law Review Forum 123 (2014)
    Full Text | WWW
  • "Counterinsurgency, the War on Terror, and the Laws of War," 95 Virginia Law Review 1745 (2009)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN