Tabatha Abu El-Haj's principal interest is the American political process, including the ways it is structured by constitutional law and the administrative state. With a background in the sociology of law, she is particularly interested in participatory politics, including popular constitutionalism.
Professor Abu El-Haj's publications include "Linking the Questions: Judicial Supremacy as a Matter of Constitutional Interpretation," in Washington University Law Review, "The Neglected Right of Assembly," in the UCLA Law Review, "Book Review: The Calligraphic State: Conceptualizing the Study of Society through Law," in the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law and "Armed Conflict: The Protection of Children under International Law," (with C. Hamilton), in the International Journal of Children's Rights.
Professor Abu El-Haj received her doctorate in Law and Society from New York University. Her dissertation, "Changing the People: Transformations in American Democracy (1880-1930)," documents the rise of municipal ordinances requiring permits for public assemblies and argues that American democracy was transformed in the 20th century as the nature of state regulation of democratic politics changed. "Changing the People: Legal Regulation and American Democracy," based on her dissertation, was published in the April 2011 issue of the New York University Law Review.
She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Furman Fellow and graduated Order of the Coif.
Before entering law school, Professor Abu El-Haj evaluated local and national education reform projects with Research for Action in Philadelphia and conducted research for the Children's Legal Centre in Colchester, U.K.
She clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.