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The American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy (ASPLP) is a learned society founded in 1955 by political theorist Carl Friedrich. Its aim is to bring together scholars in political science, law, and philosophy who are interested in interdisciplinary exploration of a range of problems in political and legal philosophy. The ASPLP's main activities are to hold an annual conference, on a topic chosen in advance by the membership, and to publish the papers, along with formal commentary and invited additional essays, in Nomos, its yearbook. As Friedrich explained in the Preface to Authority, the first yearbook: "We are calling the series NOMOS, which is the broadest Greek term for law, because in this term there are also traditionally comprised the notions of a basic political order and of customs and a way of life." He continued: "It describes reasonably well, and perhaps better than any term of modern English, what must be the focus of a society such as ours, uniting the several social sciences, law, and philosophy."[1] That commitment to interdisciplinary normative inquiry has characterized the ASPLP and the Nomos series ever since.

Nomos, published by New York University Press from 1977 through the present,[2] has included work by some of the leading political and legal theorists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, from a wide range of ideological and methodological perspectives, including Danielle Allen, Hannah Arendt, Isaiah Berlin, Jon Elster, Richard Epstein, Lon Fuller, Jean Hampton, Catharine MacKinnon, Frank I. Michelman, Robert Nozick, Martha Nussbaum, Richard Posner, John Rawls, Nancy L. Rosenblum, Judith Shklar, Cass Sunstein, Jeremy Waldron, Michael Walzer, Sheldon Wolin, and Iris Marion Young.[3] The series was edited by Friedrich for volumes I-VIII, coedited by J. Roland Pennock and John Chapman for volumes IX-XXXI, and edited by Chapman alone for XXXI-XXXV. Since then, series editors have included Ian Shapiro, Stephen Macedo, Melissa Williams, Sanford Levinson, James E. Fleming, and Jack Knight. In recent years, the series has been edited by Melissa Schwartzberg and, beginning in 2020, Eric Beerbohm.[4]


The presidency of the ASPLP rotates among the three disciplines of political science, law, and philosophy, with vice-presidents always representing the other two. The Presidents have been:[5]


The ASPLP holds an interdisciplinary conference every year, including papers by scholars from political science, philosophy, and law, on a topic chosen by the membership. It publishes those papers, along with formal commentary and invited additional essays, in NOMOS, its yearbook. The volumes in the NOMOS series, and their publishers, have been:[6]

forthcoming from New York University Press:

The volumes from 1977 (NOMOS XVII) to 2017 (NOMOS LVIII) are available on JSTOR.[7]