Kevin Cope

  • Research Assistant Professor of Law, General Faculty

Kevin Cope is a research assistant professor of law at the Law School and faculty affiliate at the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics. He is also currently a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Michigan. Cope’s research focuses on international relations and international law, including how domestic law and politics impact international institutions. He is especially interested in the law and politics of migration, and relationships between domestic institutional structure and international behavior.

Cope's work has appeared in law reviews such as the Michigan Law Review and Virginia Journal of International Law, and in several books published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and others.

Cope has served as a federal judicial clerk three times, including for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for judges on two federal trial courts. He also practiced government enforcement litigation law in Washington, D.C., with Skadden, Arps, where he handled matters involving treaties, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, immigration law, the World Bank, and the U.S. Constitution. In law school, he served as an editor of the Northwestern University Law Review.


  • Ph.D.
    University of Michigan, expected
  • LL.M.
    Georgetown University Law Center
  • J.D.
    Northwestern University School of Law
  • B.A.
    Ohio State University

Working Papers

"A Theory of Multilateral Treaty Formation" (with James D. Morrow).

"Explaining Disagreement in Indicators of State Repression" (with Charles Crabtree and Christopher J. Fariss).

"Alliance-Forming in International Convention Negotiations" (with James D. Morrow).

"A Theory of Rights Measurement," (with Charles Crabtree and Christopher J. Fariss).

Works in Progress

"Empirical Studies of Human Rights" (with Cosette D. Creamer and Mila Versteeg), 14 Ann. Rev. L. & Soc. Sci. (forthcoming 2018).

"The Future of Human Rights Scholarship" (with James Loeffler and Mila Versteeg), 81 L. & Contemp. Prob. (forthcoming 2018).

"Estimating State Ideal Points Over Treaties Using Item Response Theory and Markov Chain Monte Carlo" (with Charles Crabtree and James D. Morrow).

"Measuring Judicial Traits Using Supervised Text Analysis of Expert Evaluations: A New Dataset"

Articles and Essays

Book Review of The Interpretation of International Law by Domestic Courts (Helmut Philipp Aust & Georg Nolte, eds. (Oxford University Press 2016)) (with Mila Versteeg), 111 Am. J. Int'l L. (forthcoming 2017).

"Disaggregating the Human Rights Treaty Regime" (with Cosette D. Creamer) 56 Va. J. Int’l L. 463 (forthcoming 2017).

"Congress’s International Legal Discourse," 113 Mich. L. Rev. 1115 (2015).

  • Excerpted in Curtis A. Bradley & Jack L. Goldsmith, Foreign Relations Law: Cases and Materials (5th ed. 2014) (Dec. 2016 supplement).
  • Reprinted as O Discurso Jurídico Internacional do Congresso Estadunidense, Seqüência: Estudos Jurídicos e Políticos 37 (74), 19–96.

"Lost in Translation: The Accidental Origins of Bond v. United States," 112 Mich. L. Rev. (First Impressions) 133 (2014).

"The Intermestic Constitution: Lessons From the World’s Newest Nation," 53 Va. J. Int’l L. 667 (2013).

Book Chapters

"Treaty Law and National Legislative Politics," in Research Handbook on the Politics of International Law (Wayne Sandholtz & Christopher Whytock, eds., Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2017).

"Comparative International Law in National Legislatures" (with Hooman Movassagh) in Comparative International Law (Anthea Roberts et al., eds., Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2017).

"Reconceptualizing Recognition Uniformity," in Foreign Court Judgments and the U.S. Legal System (Paul Stephan, ed., Brill, 2014).

"South Sudan’s Dualistic Constitution," in The Social & Political Foundations of Constitutions (D.J. Galligan et al., eds., Cambridge University Press, 2013).

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