Dr. Ely Aaronson

Sociology of law,Legal history, Social and political theory, Criminal law and criminal justice, Comparative legal studies

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Dr. Aaronson's scholarship explores the political, cultural and institutional factors that shape legal definitions of - and responses to - crime. In this broad context, his work has mainly focused on questions of criminalization, policing and sentencing. His first book, From Slave Abuse to Hate Crime: The Criminalization of Racial Violence in American History (Cambridge University Press, 2014) examines the ways in which political and judicial debates regarding the legal response to racial violence have shaped the development of American racial history from the slavery era to the present. He was recently awarded a 3-year ISF grant for a new research project that investigates the impact of globalization processes on the construction of domestic criminalization policy. Earlier projects included the co-editing of a collection of essays probing the counterinfluence of discourses of citizenship and criminalization policy (published as a special issue of New Criminal Law Review).

Dr. Aaronson earned his PhD at the London School of Economics. During his PhD studies, he spent an extensive period of research as a visiting scholar at the Centre for the Study of Law and Society, UC Berkeley. Prior to his PhD studies, he completed two master degrees: in law (New York University) and in philosophy (Tel Aviv University, sumna cum laude). He was a recipient of the Alon Fellowship for Outstanding Junior Scientists (2011-1014). At the University of Haifa, he teaches courses on comparative legal history, criminalization theory, law and globalization, and comparative penal policy. He also serves as the academic supervisor of the Clinic of Prisoners' Rights and Rehabilitation. 


  • PhD, London School of Economics and Political Science (2010)  
  • LLM, New York University (2004)
  • MA, (Humanities), Tel Aviv University, sumna cum laude (2005)
  • LL.B, University of Haifa, magna cum laude (2000)

Fields of research and teaching

  • Sociology and history of criminal law and criminal justice
  • Comparative and transnational criminal justice
  • Law and globalization
  • Law and race
  • Law and social theory
  • Law and film

Recent awards and prizes

  • 2011-2014 Alon Fellowship for Outstanding Junior Scientists
  • 2014-2017 ISF Grant for the project: the impact of globalization on domestic criminalization policy