Dr. Abigail Faust

Areas of specialization: Contract Law and Theory, Consumer Financial Protection Law, Consumer Bankruptcy Law

Areas of competence: Jurisprudence, Legal History, Political Economy, Private Law Theory


Personal website

I am a lawyer and a legal theorist, working on different aspects of the debate over the desirability of state regulation of the market. I received my Ph.D. in law from Tel-Aviv University, after graduating from the Lautman Interdisciplinary Program for Outstanding Students. My doctoral dissertation, In Different Voices: The Deliberation of Consumer Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit Law in the U.S. Congress, 1968-2009, tracked the emergence of competing narratives about consumers and markets in legislative debates surrounding consumer finance and consumer bankruptcy reform in the United States. By fleshing out the specific historical and institutional conditions in which certain narratives trumped others, the dissertation suggested an alternative to public choice analyses of legislation, and stressed the importance of ideas and images in the process of agenda-setting.

The book project I will be pursuing at the Polonsky academy, The Transformation of Conservative Rhetoric: Invisible Hands, Perversity and Unintended Consequences, explores conservative arguments against progressive law reform in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. It tracks the development and ascendence of the idea that state intervention in markets carries ‘unintended consequences’, showing how the meaning of the phrase ‘unintended consequences’ changed over time, fluctuating with the faith in the superiority of markets. The history of ‘unintended consequences’ is then used to develop a broader thesis about the transformation of neoliberal ideology in response to the financial crisis.


  • Abigail Faust, Regulating Excessive Credit, WISCONSIN LAW REVIEW (forthcoming 2023)
  • Abigail Faust, The Acoustic Separation of Consumer Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit Laws, 95 AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY LAW JOURNAL 671 (2021)
  • Abigail Faust, The Role of Reciprocity in Contracts: An Analysis of Three Doctrines in Israel’s Case Law, 10 HAIFA LAW REVIEW 91 (2018) [Hebrew], reprinted in ESSAYS ON CONTRACT LAW AND THEORY IN HONOR OF GABRIELA SHALEV 125 (Yehuda Adar et.al eds. 2021) [Hebrew]