Aziz Rana's research and teaching center on American constitutional law and political development, with a particular focus on how shifting notions of race, citizenship, and empire have shaped legal and political identity since the founding.
His first book, The Two Faces of American Freedom (Harvard University Press), situates the American experience within the global history of colonialism, examining the intertwined relationship in American constitutional practice between internal accounts of freedom and external projects of power and expansion. His forthcoming book, Rise of the Constitution: How Empire Shaped an American Romance, (University of Chicago Press, 2023), explores the modern emergence of constitutional veneration in the twentieth century -- especially against the backdrop of growing American global authority -- and how veneration has influenced the boundaries of popular politics.
He has written essays and op-eds for such venues as n+1, The Boston Review, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Dissent, New Labor Forum, Jacobin, The Guardian, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Nation, Jadaliyya, Salon, and The Law and Political Economy Project. He has articles and chapter contributions published or forthcoming with Yale and Oxford University Presses, The University of Chicago Law Review, California Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Texas Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal Forum, among others.
He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-resident fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, an editorial board member of Dissent magazine, and an editorial board member of Just Security. Prior to joining the Cornell faculty, he was an Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fellow in Law at Yale. He received his A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard College and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He also earned a Ph.D. in political science at Harvard, where his dissertation was awarded the university's Charles Sumner Prize.
For more on academic and popular writing, see Aziz Rana’s website.