Mugambi Jouet

Assistant Professor

3674 Peel Street
Room 302
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3A 1W9

514-398-4742 [Office]
mugambi.jouet [at] (Email)

Read his publications on SSRN

Follow him on Twitter: @MugambiJouet

Mugambi Jouet. Photo credit: Marco Zecchin Image Center


Mugambi Jouet’s research focuses on criminal justice and comparative government from a multidisciplinary perspective. He is an expert on the distinctive historical evolution of American law, institutions, and sociopolitical culture compared to other Western democracies: Canada, European nations, Australia, and New Zealand.

His scholarship has notably analyzed mass incarceration, the death penalty, and juvenile justice. He is the author of Exceptional America: What Divides Americans From the World and From Each Other (University of California Press, 2017), a comprehensive book on the relationship between American exceptionalism and the intense polarization of modern America, from criminal justice to socioeconomic inequality and beyond. His article, "Mass Incarceration Paradigm Shift?: Convergence in an Age of Divergence" (read on SSRN), published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, further compares the historical evolution of draconian punishments in the West.

He has been interviewed by the media many times, such as on C-SPAN’s Book TV, National Public Radio, Radio Canada, France 24 TV news, and France Culture. His commentary has been featured in The New Republic, Slate, Boston Review, Mother Jones, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Hill, Libération, Le Nouvel Observateur, and Le Monde, France’s flagship newspaper.

Before joining McGill in 2018, he taught at Stanford Law School for three years as a Grey Fellow. A member of the New York bar, he previously represented numerous indigent prisoners, from homicide cases to the “War on Drugs,” in Manhattan and the Bronx. He equally served as a judicial clerk at the U.N. war crimes tribunal for Yugoslavia in The Hague, and as an assistant clinical law instructor at Sciences Po in Paris. He has traveled widely internationally and is trilingual in English, French, and Spanish.


  • Ph.D. in Law, summa cum laude, Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2019
  • JD, cum laude, Northwestern University School of Law, 2006
  • MPA (Policy Analysis), New York University, 2003
  • BA (History), Rice University, 2001



Exceptional America: What Divides Americans From the World and From Each Other (University of California Press, 2017) (peer-reviewed).

Academic Articles

"Death Penalty Abolitionism From the Enlightenment to Modernity," American Journal of Comparative Law (forthcoming 2022) (peer-reviewed).

"Juveniles Are Not So Different: The Punishment of Juveniles and Adults at the Crossroads," Federal Sentencing Reporter (forthcoming 2021) (peer-reviewed).

"Mass Incarceration Paradigm Shift?: Convergence in an Age of Divergence," 109 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 703 (2019).

"Guns, Identity, and Nationhood," 5 NaturePalgrave Communications 138 (2019) (peer-reviewed).

"Judging Leaders Who Facilitate Crimes by a Foreign Army: International Courts Differ on a Novel Legal Issue," 47 Vand. J. Transnat’l L. 1091 (2014).

"The Exceptional Absence of Human Rights as a Principle in American Law," 34 Pace L. Rev. 688 (2014).

"The Failed Invigoration of Argentina’s Constitution: Presidential Omnipotence, Repression, Instability, and Lawlessness in Argentine History," 39 U. Miami Inter-Am. L. Rev. 409 (2008).

"Spain’s Expanded Universal Jurisdiction to Prosecute Human Rights Abuses in Latin America, China, and Beyond," 35 Ga. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 495 (2007).

"Reconciling the Conflicting Rights of Victims and Defendants at the International Criminal Court," 26 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 249 (2007).

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