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Adam Shinar

Adam Shinar
S.J.D. 2013
Graduate Program Fellow in Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School
Teaching Fellow, Government Department, Harvard University
ashinar at


Conceptualizing Official Resistance: Toward a Theory of Dissent

My dissertation investigates why and how institutions and public officials (elected and non-elected) resist demands directed at them by superior officials and institutions. I provide a theoretical account of why official resistance occurs when the rule of law ordains compliance, the varying motivations resulting in this behavior, and the strategies officials and institutions deploy to effectuate their resistance. I then discuss the normative implications which flow from acts of resistance, arguing that such behavior, under particular conditions, can be beneficial. Last, I examine the theoretical and doctrinal mechanisms designed to address official resistance, arguing that certain mechanisms should be reconceptualized as seeking to accommodate this type of official behavior.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Constitutional Law and Theory with Professor Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School, Overall Faculty Supervisor
  • Remedies and Institutional Design with Professor Martha Minow, Harvard Law School
  • Political Theory with Professor Lewis Sargentich, Harvard Law School

Additional Research Interests

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory
  • Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Local Government Law
  • Labor Law


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate 2008 – 2013
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M, 2007
  • Hebrew University, LL.B, 2004
  • Hebrew University, Philosophy Department, 2003-2004

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • Harvard Law School, 2011, 2012, Summer Academic Fellow
  • Harvard University, 2012 Teaching Fellow, General Education Program
  • Harvard Law School, 2011, Byse Fellow
  • Harvard Law School, 2008-2009, Graduate Program Fellow, Constitutional Law Section Leader
  • Harvard University, 2008-2009, Teaching Fellow, Government Department
  • Harvard University, 2007-2008, Teaching Fellow, Government Department
  • Hebrew University, 2005-2006, Instructor in Jurisprudence

Representative Publications

Additional Information

  • Languages: English, Hebrew

Last Updated: March 12, 2015