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Scott Barclay

Scott Barclay

Director and Professor, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Arizona State University
4701 W Thunderbird Rd
Glendale, AZ 85306-3501


  • Senior Global Futures Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Director and Professor, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences


Scott Barclay is the Director of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. He received his PhD in Political Science from Northwestern University and his BA from the University of Queensland in Australia.

He recently served as a Program Director in the Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate at the National Science Foundation. He has held positions at Drexel University, UCLA, University at Albany, University of Washington, and UC Santa Cruz.  His ongoing research project explores the interplay of political, demographic, and social movement factors that influence the deployment of law. His research have been published in Law & Society Review, Law & Social Inquiry, Political Research Quarterly, Perspectives on Politics, and Law and Policy. His research findings have been directly referenced in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times.


  • PhD, Political Science, Northwestern University, 1993
  • BA, Government, University of Queensland, 1988
  • LLB, Law, University of Queensland, 1987
  • BA, Government/English, University of Queensland, 1985


Journal Articles


Barclay, S. and A. R. Flores. 2017. Policy backlash: Measuring the effect of policy venues using public opinion. Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equity 5(2):Art. 8. (link )


Flores, A. and S. Barclay. 2016. Backlash, consensus, legitimacy, or polarization: The effect of same-sex marriage policy on mass attitudes. Political Research Quarterly 69(1):43-56. DOI: 10.1177/1065912915621175. (link )


Barclay, S. and D. Chomsky. 2014. How do cause lawyers decide when and where to litigate on behalf of their cause?. Law & Society Review 48(3):595-620. DOI: 10.1111/lasr.12093 . (link )


Chomsky, D. and S. Barclay. 2013. The editor, the publisher, and his mother: The representation of lesbians and gays in the New York Times. Journal of Homosexuality 60(10):1389-1408. DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2013.819196. (link )


Gould, J. B. and S. Barclay. 2012. Mind the gap: The place of gap studies in sociolegal scholarship. Annual Review of Law and Social Science 8:323-335. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102811-173833. (link )


Barclay, S. 2010. In search of judicial activism in the same-sex marriage cases: Sorting the evidence from courts, legislatures, initiatives and amendments. Perspectives on Politics 8(1):111-126. (link )

Chomsky, D. and S. Barclay. 2010. The mass media, public opinion, and lesbian and gay rights. Annual Review of Law and Social Science 6:387-403. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102209-152825. (link )

Novkov, J. and S. Barclay. 2010. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and the transgendered in political science: Report on a discipline-wide survey. PS: Political Science & Politics 43(1):95-106. DOI: 10.1017/S1049096510990641. (link )


Barclay, S. and S. Fisher. 2008. Said and unsaid: State legislative signaling to state courts over same sex marriage 1990-2004. Law & Policy 30(2):254-275. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9930.2008.00276.x. (link )


Barclay, S. 2004. A new aspect of lawyer-client interactions: Lawyers teaching process-focused clients to think about outcomes. Clinical Law Review 11(2004-2005):1-13. (link )


Barclay, S. and S. Fisher. 2003. The states and the differing impetus for divergent paths on same-sex marriage, 1990-2001. Policy Studies Journal 31(3):331-352. DOI: 10.1111/1541-0072.00025. (link )

Marshall, A. and S. Barclay. 2003. In their own words: How ordinary people construct the legal world. Law & Social Inquiry 28(3):617-628. DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-4469.2003.tb00209.x. (link )


Barclay, S. 1999. Appealing (but not necessarily winning) to improve your social status. Law & Policy 21(4):427-443. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9930.00080. (link )


Barclay, S. 1998. Keeping their distance: Appellate courts and local communities. Judicature 82(1):35-38. (link )

Barclay, S. and T. Birkland. 1998. Law, policymaking, and the policy process: Closing the gaps. Policy Studies Journal 26(2):227-243. DOI: 10.1111/j.1541-0072.1998.tb01896.x. (link )


Barclay, S. 1997. Posner’s economic model and the decision to appeal. The Justice System Journal 19(1):77-99. (link )


Barclay, S. 1996. The decision to self-represent. Social Science Quarterly 77(4):912-923. (link )



Barclay, S., M. Bernstein and A. Marshall eds. 2009. Queer Mobilizations: LBGT Activists Confront the Law. New York University Press. New York and London. ISBN: 978-0814791318.

Book Chapters


Barclay, S., L. C. Jones and A. Marshall. 2011. Two spinning wheels: Studying law and social movements. Pp. 1-16 In: Sarat, A. ed., Special Issue Social Movements/Legal Possibilities. Vol 54. Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. ISBN: 978-0-85724-825-1.


Bernstein, M., A. Marshall and S. Barclay. 2009. The challenge of Law: Sexual orientation, gender identity, and social movements. Pp. 1-20 In: Barclay, S., M. Bernstein and A. Marshall eds., Queer Mobilizations: LGBT Activists Confront the Law. NYU Press. ISBN: 9780814791318.


Barclay, S. and S. S. Silbey. 2008. Understanding regime change: Public opinion, legitimacy, and legal consequences. Pp. 663-678 In: Caldeira, G. A., R. D. Kelemen and K. E. Whittington eds., The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics. Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199208425.003.0038. ISBN: 9780199208425.

Woods, P. J. and S. Barclay. 2008. Cause lawyers as legal innovators with and against the state: Symbiosis or opposition?. Pp. 203-231 In: Sarat, A. ed., Studies in Law, Politics and Society. Vol 45. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. ISBN: 978-1-84855-090-2 .


Barclay, S. and S. Fisher. 2006. Cause lawyers in the first wave of same sex marriage litigation. Pp. 84-100 In: Sarat, A. and S. A. Scheingold eds., Cause Lawyers and Social Movements. Stanford University Press. Stanford, CA. ISBN: 978-0804753616.


Barclay, S. and A. Marshall. 2005. Supporting a cause, developing a movement, and consolidating a practice: Cause lawyers and sexual orientation litigation in Vermont. Pp. 171-202 In: Sarat, A. and S. A. Scheingold eds., The Worlds Cause Lawyers Make: Structure and Agency in Legal Practice. Stanford University Press. Stanford, CA. ISBN: 978-0804752299.