The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Abigail R. Moncrieff

JD, University of Chicago Law School, BA, English and Poltical Science, Wellesley College

Abigail R. Moncrieff



Constitutional law and theory, American political institutions, American bureaucracy, American Legal Realism, technocratic political thought, liberal theory, comparative institutional competence


Abby Moncrieff is a scholar of constitutional law and theory, currently working on a wide-ranging reimagination of the modern American constitutional order in a book project called Constitutional Technocracy. The book makes three core arguments: First, positive laws ought to be scientifically calibrated to the polity they govern. Second, such calibration, given ineradicable conditions of dynamism and uncertainty in human knowledge, requires perpetual correction of positive laws through diffuse sovereignty and dialectical democracy. No single institution or set of institutions, if arranged hierarchically or hegemonically, can possibly calibrate laws with precision to the needs and preferences of the polity they govern. Third, notwithstanding the Lockean commitments of the American founders, the American constitutional order already functions remarkably similarly to the normative ideal of constitutional technocracy. That is, American sovereignty operates much more frequently through diffuse sovereignty and dialectical democracy than through hierarchical lawmaking or deliberative democracy.
Before beginning her Ph.D. studies, Abby was an Associate Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law for eight years. At BU, Abby researched, wrote, and published extensively in healthcare law and policy, and she retains a strong interest in healthcare policy as a site of cutting edge (and often ambiguous) constitutional thought. She also taught and wrote in Administrative Law and has significant expertise in the American bureaucracy in addition to her expertise in constitutional law and healthcare law. Abby has also taught courses at Harvard Law School, NYU School of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School, and St. John's Law School. Abby earned her J.D. from University of Chicago Law School and her BA from Wellesley College, and she spent a year between college and law school as a Fulbright Scholar in Geneva, Switzerland, researching comparative healthcare policy. Before joining the BU faculty, Abby clerked for Judge Sidney R. Thomas on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and completed a fellowship at Harvard Law School's Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics. 


GOV 310L • American Government

37810 • Spring 2022
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM PAR 1

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38863 • Fall 2021
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM PAR 203

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L. May be taken for credit only once.

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    The University of Texas at Austin
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    Austin, TX 78712-1704