Prof. Brinig presents at Colloquium on Violence and Religion

Author: Susan Good

Peg Brinig 2010

Margaret Brinig, Fritz Duda Family Chair in Law and associate dean for faculty research, will present a paper at Notre Dame’s Colloquium on Violence and Religion during a special keynote session. The presentation runs from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in McKenna Hall Auditorium on Notre Dame’s campus.

For an overview of the colloquium, visit

Prof. Brinig’s paper—Families, Mimetic Rivalry, and Disabilities—is taken from the closing chapters of her book Family, Law and Community: Supporting the Covenant (University of Chicago Press, 2010). The book argues that much behavior in families, like that in the wider community, can be explained better using mimetic theory than sociobiology or economics. Mimetic rivalry helps to show not only how marriages go wrong but why disabled children, especially those with learning disabilities, tend disproportionately to be the victims of family violence. The competing theories will be described and explored using a wide variety of data.

Prof. Brinig is best known for her expertise in family law. She sits on the executive council of the International Society of Family Law, and recently published Family, Law, and Community: Supporting the Covenant (University of Chicago Press, 2010), which offers a distinctive study of legal reform from the perspective of family dynamics and social policy. The book examines a range of subjects of current legal interest including cohabitation, custody, grandparent visitation, and domestic violence. She concludes that conventional legal systems and the social programs they engender ignore social capital: the trust and support given to families by a community.

For more on Prof. Brinig, you can link to her CV and her SSRN author page.