Profile picture of Michael Musheno

Michael Musheno

Professor Emeritus
Law, Law-JD
Phone: 541-346-3862
Office: School Of Law Rm 333


Michael Musheno is professor of law at the University of Oregon. He received his Ph.D. in Government at The American University and was a Bush Fellow at Yale University where he studied law and psychology.

He is the former faculty director of the Legal Studies Program at UC Berkeley Law, and a former program director of Law and the Social Sciences at the National Science Foundation. He has directed centers and departments at Arizona State University, the University of Kansas, and San Francisco State University.

His teaching and writing focus on the social agency of youth, the state’s frontline workforce, policing and surveillance, and the social and cultural dynamics of law in everyday life. He regularly teaches the graduate seminar on Perspectives on Conflict Resolution and undergraduate courses on Youth and Social Change, and Introduction to Conflict.

Honors and Awards

In support of his research, Michael Musheno has received research funds from the European Commission International Grant Program and twice won grants from the National Science Foundation. He has served as the faculty sponsor for successful research proposals to support the scholarship of both undergraduate and graduate students. His scholarship draws substantially upon narratives, particularly the storytelling of subjects and agents of the state, and uses interpretive field methods.

Michael’s book, Cops, Teachers, Counselors: Stories from the Front Lines of Public Service (University of Michigan Press, 2004) co-authored with Professor Steven Maynard-Moody of the University of Kansas, is the winner of the American Political Science Association’s 2005 Herbert A. Simon Book Award and the winner of the 2005 Best Book of Public Administration Research from the American Society of Public Administration. He has authored and coauthored 9 books and over 40 academic journal articles and chapters, including pieces appearing in every major socio-legal academic journal, including Law and Society Review and Law and Social Inquiry as well as major public policy/administration journals in the U.S. and Europe.


Michael Musheno's most recent book project, Navigating Conflict: How Youth Handle Trouble in a High Poverty School, was published by the University of Chicago Press in spring of 2018. It is co-authored with Calvin Morrill and focuses on how youth from high poverty neighborhoods navigate conflict on their own terms, conditioned through sustained efforts by peers and adults to build and maintain social inclusion and trust across the history of a 100-year old public high school. The book is based on a sixteen-year field research project.

In collaboration with Lars Tummers of Utrecht University, and Victor Bekkers and Evelien Vink of Erasmus University, The Netherlands, Musheno completed a cross-national study of how social workers and teachers in The Netherlands and California cope with competing demands of 21st Century public service delivery. The research team’s initial refereed publication on this project, “Coping During Public Service Delivery: A Conceptualization and Systematic Review of the Literature,” appears in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (25, 1 2015).

Musheno continues his long-term collaboration with Steven Maynard-Moody on the judgments and decision-making of state frontline workers with new emphases on the significance of institutional norms, how institutionalism and worker agency intersect, and the perspectives of clients as well as workers. Their recent collaborations appear in peer-review journals and anthologies published in Europe and the US (see CV for details). They are currently working on a new edition of their award-winning book, Cops, Teachers, Counselors: Stories from the Frontlines of Public Service. Recently, Musheno also collaborated with Professor Xiaowei Zang of the City University of Hong Kong in a five-city field study of law abidance related to frontline decision-making of urban police officers and supervisors in China. Their completed study, “Exploring Frontline Work in China,” appears in the peer-reviewed journal, Public Administration (DOI: 10.11.11/padm.12340, 2017).