University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Jamie Rowen

Professional Title: 

Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science
Director Center for Justice, Law, and Societies


Thompson 224


Office Hours: 

Fall 2023: Mondays 2:00-4:00PM


PhD, Jurisprudence and Social Policy, University of California, Berkeley; JD, Berkeley School of Law; BA, Peace and Conflict Studies, University of California, Berkeley


Dr. Rowen's research focuses on the use of law to redress mass atrocity and aid vulnerable groups. She is the founding director of UMass' Center for Justice, Law, and Societies, and a research affiliate with the UMass Center of Excellence for Specialty Courts. Dr. Rowen's current projects examine relationships between immigration and international criminal law, data and decision-making in progressive prosecution, as well as the purpose and practice of Veterans Treatment Courts. Her work on Veterans Treatment Courts is supported by a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. 

Dr. Rowen's first book, Searching for Truth in the Transitional Justice Movement (Cambridge University Press 2017), focuses on the emergence of transitional justice as an idea in international and domestic scholarship, policy making, and advocacy. In the book, she examines efforts to make truth commissions in the Balkans, Colombia, and the United States to reveal the appeal and the dilemma of pursuing quasi-judicial interventions in the wake of mass violence. Her scholarship on the production and implementation of transitional justice and domestic and international law has been published in Law and Society Review, Law and Social Inquiry, International Journal of Transitional Justice, Law and Policy, Human Rights Quarterly, Journal of International Law and International Relations, Encyclopedia of Law and Behavioral Science, among other outlets. Her second book, Thank You for Your Service: Veterans Treatment Courts in Practice, is under contract with Stanford University Press.

Over the past decades, Dr. Rowen has studied religion and post-conflict justice in Vietnam, developed life skills educational programs for orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa and the Balkans, studied refugee health in Morocco, and examined human rights protections in Latin America with the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights in Costa Rica. She received a J.D. from Berkeley School of Law in 2009, a Ph.D. from the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at Berkeley School of Law in 2012, and was a doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation in 2012-2013. Prior to her current position in legal studies at UMass, Dr. Rowen taught in the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto. 

Dr. Rowen's interdisciplinary training enables her to work with graduate students in Public Law, International Relations, Comparative Politics, and other fields where the topics concern her substantive knowledge of social movements, international law, legal advocacy, criminal justice reform, and international development. She provides research assistantships and professional development opportunities to both graduate and undergraduate students interested in developing substantive knowledge of law and policy, as well as skills in qualitative methodologies.



Area of Study: 

  • Public law

Curriculum Vitae: 

Download pdf (268.5 KB)


  • Law and Society


  • Legal Studies